Health Information Management Legal Consultant Career
There are many jobs in the healthcare industry that don’t require medical certification. These jobs are great for people who still want a healthcare career, but who may not want to be directly involved with patient treatment. One of these jobs is fulfilled by a health information management (HIM) legal consultant. An HIM legal consultant is someone who has an eye for detail, is incredibly organized, and is passionate about problem-solving.
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.
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
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 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.
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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 is 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, such as HIPAA compliance information, for the facility. Understanding and ensuring your facility is operating legally is part of being a legal consultant.
How Much Does an HIM Legal Consultant Make?
According to Zip Recruiter, HIM consultants make an average of $83,191 a year. Your position, whether it be entry-level or senior, will influence your salary. Entry-level HIM consultants can expect to earn anywhere from $22,000 annually to $83,00, whereas senior-level HIM consultants can expect between $83,000 to $165,000.
What Is the Job Outlook for an HIM Legal Consultant?
There is currently no specific job outlook information for HIM legal consultants. However, the demand for qualified professionals in the healthcare industry is projected to rise, including demand for administrative positions. This is due in part to both social phenomena, like COVID-19, as well as the rise of the number of senior individuals in the U.S over the next 10 years. This means you can be fairly confident in the demand for HIM legal consultants.
Where Does an HIM Legal Consultant Work?
HIM legal consultants can work in or for any medical care facility. Long-term care facilities tend to have a higher need for consultants, as they have a larger amount of information on residents. You can find a job as an HIM legal consultant at:
-Hospice or palliative care centers
-Disability care centers
-Assisted living centers