Non-Clinical Healthcare Job Descriptions & Requirements

Part 3 of our 4-part series on non-clinical healthcare as a career path defines this growing industry and provides a general outlook of what it means to prospective job-seekers.

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As mentioned earlier, non-clinical healthcare jobs run the gamut from those just requiring a high-school degree to those that require a postsecondary degree, certification or specialized training. Depending on your interests and skills, there are several career tracks to pursue. For example, you might be interested in working for a health insurance company to pay claims, or like the idea of health information management where you will help to collect and analyze digital and paper medical information. Patient access employees help ensure that patients get timely care from the right provider at a convenient location, while those who work in a physician's office can fill a variety of roles such as an administrative assistant or receptionist.[1] If you're more inclined toward the financial side, there are various positions that deal with billing, reimbursements and patient accounts.
Such jobs can range in pay from $30,000 to more than $40,000, depending on the job duties, candidate experience and job location.

Types of Non-Clinical Jobs

The nonclinical healthcare jobs don't stop there, however. With an aging population, increasing healthcare technology and a growing demand for outpatient services, there are others jobs that may be appealing. Such as:

Insurance Claims Analyst

  • Responsible for reviewing and analyzing claims and costs, processing new claims and completing old ones.
  • Acts as a facilitator among various groups, such as lawyers, insurance brokers and carriers.
  • Prepares and files legal documentation.
  • Requires a high school diploma or an associate's degree. Some employers also require a bachelor's degree and business experience. Extra training may be needed in medical billing or other technology areas.

Insurance Follow-Up Specialist

  • Responsible for all insurance follow-ups on various accounts that usually will be assigned by a management team.
  • Does research and insurance billing, as well as making necessary adjustments for account resolution. Will work with various follow-up processes, such as billing, collection, managed care, Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Must be able to work independently, have excellent customer and communication skills.
  • Requires high school diploma and may also require additional job experience.

Insurance Verification Specialist

  • Ensures that a patient's healthcare benefits will cover required procedures.
  • Works with various insurance companies to verify coverage levels and helps educate patients about benefits coverage.
  • Maintains accurate and updated patient records and has extensive knowledge of different types of healthcare coverage and policies. Must be excellent at multitasking, be detail-oriented and organized.
  • Requires high school diploma, although many employers prefer one or two years of experience working with hospital admissions or healthcare billing. Also needs a working knowledge of medical terminology.

Manager of Central Scheduling

  • Oversees central scheduling, which is the one-stop source for families and physicians in a healthcare setting such as a hospital.
  • Ensures collection of accurate and updated information for patients.
  • Proactively manages procedures to ensure efficient and productive scheduling practices while maintaining privacy policies.
  • Requires high school diploma and experience in scheduling and working with patients and physicians. Good communication and organizational skills.

Medical Administrative Assistant

  • Organizes files, prepares documents and schedules appointments.
  • Duties can vary, but can include answering phones, greeting patients and explaining treatments to patients. May also include arranging hospital stays or lab work, billing and bookkeeping.
  • Requires an ability to communicate well, multitask and stay organized.
  • High school diploma required, with some employers preferring some certification or associate's degree in medical administrative assisting.

Medical Collections Representative

  • Responsible for collecting payments from insurance companies, Medicare and self-pay collections. Must also follow up with insurers on denial-of-payment claims.
  • Works with consumers to find the best solutions for past due amounts.
  • Documents accounts, providing accurate and updated information regarding payments and spotting inconsistencies. Able to understand EOB (explanation of benefit) forms and follow HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) rules.
  • High school diploma, although some experience may be required.

Medical Customer Service Representative

  • Responsible for working with medical offices or hospitals to resolve payment or service issues.
  • Needs to understand EOB forms to help patients, physician offices and hospitals resolve complaints or clarify payment options.
  • Excellent communication skills and an ability to clearly convey information to various groups, including patients, doctors and billing.
  • High school diploma, although some employers may require an advanced degree or certification.

Medical Records Administrator

  • Plans, oversees and implements the medical records system.
  • Ensures applicable laws and regulations are followed according to state and federal rules.
  • Knowledge of medical terminology. Trains existing staff in medical records maintenance and ensures up-to-date and accurate records are maintained.
  • High school diploma, although may also require an associate's degree and/or certifications in health information.

Medical Biller

  • Submits medical claims to insurance companies and payers such as Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Obtains referrals and pre-authorizations as required for procedures. Needs good communication skills and an ability to multitask and stay organized.
  • Checks eligibility and verifies benefits for treatments, hospital stays and medical procedures. Reviews patient bills for accuracy and transmits claims as needed.
  • High school diploma, some employers may ask for business and accounting knowledge in addition to some experience.

Medical Billing Manager

  • Manages the selection, training and development of the billing department.
  • Oversees daily operations of billing to ensure accurate, up-to-date billing and chart coding.
  • May negotiate contracts with payers and ensure they are following the stipulations.
  • Reviews bill denials and works to resolve escalated customer disputes.

Medical Coding

  • Trained in various medical classification systems, medical terminology and pathophysiology.
  • Must understand and adhere to laws and ethics of health insurance, medical billing and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • Certifications in the field are preferred, but not mandatory. Certified Coding Assistant is the most common exam and is taken after training is completed. A Certified Coding Specialist exam can be taken after a few years of experience.[2]
  • Typically requires certification or an associate’s degree program in medical billing and coding.

Patient Account Representative

  • Processes claims, collects payments and resolves any patient questions regarding a hospital or clinic account.
  • Assists patients with repayment terms and contacts those who are delinquent on payments.
  • Works with insurance companies regarding claims and provides updated account information.
  • Requires a high school diploma and some experience with medical billing or collections. Many require an associate's degree and skills on computer software.

Project Management: Healthcare

  • Responsible for daily coordination and operations of a healthcare program. Must be able to develop a comprehensive project plan and troubleshoot any problems that arise in implementation.
  • Oversees project from beginning to end, monitors progress and issues updates to concerned parties.
  • Supervises and directs team members involved in project.
  • Requires a high school diploma, although some will require bachelor's degree in health management or business administration. Certifications such as Project Management Profession or Certified Associate in Project Management also may be necessary.

One of the things that often appeals to those entering the non-clinical healthcare field is the variety of jobs and workplaces. For example, some medical records employees are able to work from home, while medical administrative assistants can work in urgent care clinics, physician's offices or hospitals. Other positions are more suited to insurance companies, depending on the job and experience.

While the job outlook remains strong for non-clinical healthcare jobs because of an aging population, that doesn't mean that job seekers in this field don't have to be prepared when applying for a job and interviewing. Be ready to do your homework on the employer and the position so that you target your resume and cover letter to fit the requirements and are able to demonstrate knowledge about the employer.

Negotiating Your Starting Salary

Once you get a job offer, your preparation begins anew. Now it's time to negotiate for the best salary you can. Here are some tips:

  • Do your research. Average salaries for these positions were listed earlier, but you also need to be aware of what salaries may be in your specific city or state. It's not likely that someone in Louisiana will earn the same salary as someone in New York since the cost-of-living is different. You can search for salaries in your area via sites like Salary.com and Glassdoor.com. It's important to get a realistic view of what you can expect before beginning to negotiate and use your salary knowledge to make a case for a specific salary.
  • Look at the overall package. While salary is certainly important, employers also factor in vacation and health benefits and other perks like a 401(k) or gym membership when valuing a job offer. Make sure you take benefits and perks into account when considering overall compensation.
  • Be flexible. If an employer is only able to offer a certain salary, then inquire about other perks or benefits, such as extra vacation time or free parking. You might be able to negotiate working from home one day per week, which could save you commuting costs.

Ready to kick start your career in non-clinical healthcare? Our career guide will help you get started.

Resources:

[1] Bruzzese, Anita. “The Most Underrated Role in Medicine: Non-Clinical Healthcare.” Ajilon, 4 Apr. 2018.

[2] Study.com, Study.com.

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