How to Get a Masters in Health Information Management

Earning a Master’s Degree in Health Information Management (HIM) will help you to meet the booming demand in the health care system for IT professionals. This type of master’s degree will examine the best practices of IT management in a health care setting, so that you will develop the skills to implement the best health care business strategies.

The Master’s in Health Information Management focuses on specific issues that IT managers identify as the most challenging aspects in the IT sector in health care. Some of the skills you will learn include:

  • Communicating effectively with healthcare technology stakeholders
  • Integrate healthcare technology solutions, aligning them with strategic business goals
  • Manage the most complex health care enterprise technology systems
  • Manage risk mitigation in a healthcare enterprise system
  • Evaluate healthcare data to create new business intelligence and modeling of data that drives effective decision making

There are similarities between a program in Health Information Management and Health Informatics (HI), but also there are key differences. These are detailed below.

3+ Online No GRE Options for Master’s of Health Information Management

Walden University
Campus: Online
Type: For Profit
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association
Per Credit Hour: $835
GRE Required: No
Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
On Campus Requirements: No
School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid
Request Info: Walden University

Northwestern University
Campus: Online
Type: Non Profit
Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)
Per Credit Hour: $3,726 per class
GRE Required: No
Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
On Campus Requirements: No
School Site: |Tuition | Financial Aid

The College of St. Scholastica
Campus: Online
Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association, Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
Per Credit Hour: $590
GRE Required: No
Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
On Campus Requirements: No
School Site:|Tuition | Financial Aid

Basic Description of a Master’s of Health Information Management

A Master’s of Health Information Management with no GRE requirement is mostly concerned with the organization and management of patient data that is contained in medical records. Professionals with this advanced degree are usually work on coding health information for the proper reimbursement from health insurance, and also ensure compliance with all government regulations that govern patient data.

Earning your master’s degree in HIM means that you will focus most of your graduate curriculum on medical records management, billing and coding, as well as regulatory mandates. A master’s program in this field will revolve heavily around IT knowledge, particularly electronic health record data. Also, you will need to have familiarity with common medical terminology and anatomy.

Differences Between HIM and HI

A master’s in health information management is similar to a master’s in health informatics (HI). The major difference is that HIM focuses more on the IT processes that are essential to store and retrieve patient data, and to comply with regulations. HI has more of a focus on applied technology by utilizing information management and IT to improve the quality of patient care.

HI also has less emphasis on coding, billing and regulations, and more on information analysis, organization and knowledge of system infrastructures. More programming knowledge also is required in health informatics.

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The Department of Health Informatics and Information Management offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Health Informatics and Information Management as well as a post-baccalaureate certificate in Health Informatics and Information Management. Health Information is one of the fastest growing professions in the country based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the American Health Information Management Association, there are more than 120 different job titles that health information professionals hold demonstrating the wide range of skills and opportunities for the health information professional.

Where Can Master’s in Health Information Management Candidates Find Work After They Graduate?

Health information management is one of the quickest-growing health occupations in the country. With a master’s degree in health information management, you will have many exciting job possibilities available to you, such as:

  • HIM Director
  • Coding Manager
  • Health Information Manager
  • Patient Information Director
  • HIM Project Manager
  • HIM Systems Manager
  • Data Quality Manager
  • Information Security Officer
  • Privacy Officer
  • Regional HIM Director
  • Compliance Officer

Common work settings for this field include:

  • Doctors’ group offices
  • Consulting firms
  • Long term care facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Insurance companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • IT companies with a health focus

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that all medical and health services managers, including HIM and HI master’s holders, will see a 22% increase in employment by 2020. It also reports that the median salary in this field is $84,270.

Payscale.com reports that the top salary for the field of health information management is $102,000 per year, with a low end for associates and bachelor’s holders of $39,500. The average salary for health information managers at Indeed.com is $65,000. A director of health information management can earn an average of $112,000.

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