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OVERVIEW

What is an HIM Legal Consultant?


 

A hospital employs many different types of legal consultants because they handle vulnerable populations. An HIM consultant advises healthcare administrators on how to handle their patient information, medical records, and other documentation. HIM consultants handle some of the most important and sensitive documents a facility may have, so the hiring and vetting process for HIM consultants may be more strict.

It’s vital for clinics and hospitals to utilize health information management legal consultants to ensure they are meeting certain rules, regulations, and compliance measures. It also ensures patient safety and security, and keeps the hospital or clinic out of legal trouble. These professionals are a vital addition to any healthcare team.

RESPONSIBILITIES

What Does an HIM Legal Consultant Do?

There are many responsibilities and tasks that can be part of a health information management legal consultant’s day, and it greatly depends on the type of clinic or hospital where you work. Overall their work centers around trying to help the clinic or hospital solve any legal problems that will arise surrounding patients or staff. That can mean taking on many different tasks including:

  • Ensuring labor laws, compliance, and regulations are met for the clinic or hospital
  • Working with HR departments to review payroll, benefits, and ensure staff are properly trained on legal matters
  • Going over the legality of hiring or firing an employee
  • Working on contracts, policies, and handbooks for the facility
  • Assisting legal firms or the legal team if there is a legal matter that needs to be fixed
  • Work with all different departments on large or small requests to ensure the entire facility practices appropriately 

EDUCATION & BEST DEGREES

How Do I Become an HIM Legal Consultant?

To become an HIM legal consultant, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree in health information management. This degree program will give you an understanding of the administrative side of the healthcare industry, teach you the importance of health information, and provide you with practical skills pertaining to health information management.

A bachelor’s degree is a critical step because it will demonstrate to employers that you have necessary training and skills in health information management that will enable you to be ready for any situation that comes up.

Best Degrees for an HIM Legal Consultant

Health Information Management – B.S.

A program designed for future leaders in HIM....

A program designed for future leaders in HIM.

  • Time: 63% of grads earned this degree in 36 months or less.
  • Tuition: $4,085 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 36 total courses in this program.

Some careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:

  • Director of informatics
  • HIMS chief
  • Information systems auditor
  • Outpatient coder
  • Health records manager

This CAHIIM-accredited program makes you eligible for the RHIA exam. 

Compare with B.S. Business – Healthcare Management

Master of Healthcare Administration

A master's focused on managing comprehensive, value-based care, directly...

A master's focused on managing comprehensive, value-based care, directly in line with innovations in health and healthcare.

  • Time: 81% of grads finish within 24 months. 
  • Tuition: $4,755 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 12 total courses in this program.

Examples of careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:

  • Managed care executive
  • Director of integrated care management
  • Health center manager/clinic manager
  • Director of integrated facilities

Your rich experience in a health-related field can mean more when you bring a master's level of understanding to the problems that organizations need to solve.

Compare degrees

This program is not the only degree WGU offers designed to create leaders in the field of healthcare. Compare our health leadership degrees.

How Much Does an HIM Legal Consultant Make?

$83,481

According to ZipRecruiter, HIM consultants make an average of $83,481 a year. Your position, whether it be entry-level or senior, will influence your salary. Entry-level HIM consultants can expect to earn about $45,000 annually, whereas senior-level HIM consultants can expect as much as $158,500 annually.

What is the Projected Job Growth?

 

20%

ZipRecruiter states: "According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical and health services manager positions are projected to grow by 20 percent in the next decade, which is much quicker than the average for all jobs. This area includes health information management positions, and the BLS notes that the demand for workers with informatics and database training skills are in especially high demand."

SKILLS

What Skills Does an HIM Legal Consultant Need?

As more and more technological innovations make their way into the medical field, successful HIM consultants will need IT skills as well as administration skills. These skills include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Data entry. Because you’ll be working mainly with documentation, successful HIM consultants will be able to perform data entry with few to zero mistakes.
  • Data navigation. Potential HIM consultant candidates should be able to navigate data efficiently, as they’ll likely be handling large amounts every day.
  • Basic tech troubleshooting. While this is not required, being able to perform basic troubleshooting can make you a more competitive candidate and serve you well in your position.
  • Critical analysis. It's very important the HIM consultants can perform critical analysis of the documents they are handling. This is key to being able to advise your firm on its next steps.
  • Communication. HIM consultants may have to work with time-sensitive information or under deadlines, making time management an important skill.
  • Time management. HIM consultants will likely have to work with people across several different departments, meaning a successful HIM consultant will have polished communication skills.
  • Public speaking. HIM consultants often have to give presentations about their findings, critical analysis, and plans for the next term. These presentations could range from a few people to a medium-sized group, so it pays to have public speaking skills.

HIM consultants also need to stay on top of industry news and standards for the facility, such as HIPAA compliance information. Understanding and ensuring your facility is operating legally is part of being a legal consultant.

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No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

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Interested in Becoming an HIM Legal Consultant?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this meaningful career.