So you’ve heard that the healthcare industry is growing rapidly,1 and you’re interested in healthcare career training. But here’s the thing – you’d rather have little or no patient contact. That eliminates positions like medical assistant, nursing assistant, patient care technician, dental assistant, and more.
But don’t worry: There are more options for careers with minimal or no patient contact than you might think. Here are a few positions you could train for if you want to work in healthcare but also want to avoid much direct patient contact.
Note: While you won’t be administering medications, taking care of patients, or assisting with exams and minor surgeries in these roles, we can’t promise you won’t occasionally come into contact with patients. That said, these positions are centered more on administration and technology than direct patient care.
1. Medical Billing and Coding
Billing specialist, medical biller and coder, or medical insurance verifier
These jobs with minimal patient contact fall under the field of medical billing and coding, which is a hugely important aspect of healthcare.2 In order to be paid for services, providers have to correctly bill the insurance company, patient, or other payer. That’s where these jobs come into play.
A billing specialist is responsible for processing medical bills. They usually communicate with insurance companies or other payers to make sure claims are paid.
A medical biller and coder is similar to a billing specialist, but they’re also usually responsible for coding patient information. In order to be paid, claims must be correctly coded into ICD-10, a standard medical coding system, which has some 71,924 procedural and 69,823 diagnostic coding sequences.3
A medical insurance verifier often handles patient claims relating to insurance companies. This means making sure claims are coded correctly and communicating with insurance companies to make sure claims are paid.
2. Healthcare Information Management
Clinical documentation specialist, document imaging technician, or health information clerk
These three roles fall under the category of Health Information Management. If you’ve ever found yourself interested in the information side of the healthcare industry, then this might be the right path for you – especially if you’re looking for a healthcare job with little to no patient contact.
A clinical documentation specialist is responsible for managing patient information which is stored in electronic health records or EHRs. In this role, you’ll likely help maintain EHRs, ensuring their accuracy and making sure providers can quickly and easily access the information while treating patients.
A document imaging technician is mainly responsible for moving physical documents into electronic form. In this role, you’ll probably be tasked with keeping EHRs organized and cataloged.
A health information clerk helps to manage and maintain EHRs, checking them for accuracy and providing immediate access to physicians and providers.
3. Healthcare Management
Front desk administrator or office administrator
Say you do want to work with people—both healthcare professionals and patients—but you don’t want to be directly involved in patient care. Healthcare Management might be a good field of study for you. Healthcare management is the administrative arm of healthcare, and it’s about supporting the people and processes that make the healthcare system work.
A front desk administrator is responsible for overseeing the front desk of a healthcare office. This role can include managing the flow of patients into and out of the office, working through operations checklists, and other responsibilities.
Healthcare Management grads may have responsibility for report filing, clerical work, reports, and more to make sure the office operations stay on target and on task. This role could also include checking inventory, keeping track of budgets, talking with patients, and other responsibilities.
You would work closely with the people who do have patient contact, without having extended patient contact yourself. Job skills include understanding office operations, medical billing systems, budgeting, and resolving workplace conflicts.
4. Medical Administrative Assistant
Medical secretary, receptionist, customer service representative, front office staff, or office assistant
Do you want to be the smiling face that greets patients at the front desk when they walk into a healthcare provider’s facility?
If scheduling appointments, answering phones, and handling other day-to-day medical office administrative tasks sounds good, this could be the career path for you. Our online Medical Administrative Assistant programs and Medical Office and Billing Specialist programs are two that could help you to seek a career in this area of healthcare.
Note: Some medical offices have a reception desk with sliding glass panels to help prevent the spread of germs, but we can’t guarantee all jobs in this category will offer that feature. If this is a concern, it could be one of your requirements in choosing an employer.
Interested in a Healthcare Career with Little or No Patient Contact?
Those were a few of the careers in healthcare that minimize patient contact. If you’re interested in those or would like to you find something that fits your interests?
Learn more about the healthcare programs at Ultimate Medical Academy. You can also contact us directly, enabling you to get your questions answered so you can choose a healthcare career path!
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Healthcare Occupations. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm
2 American Academy of Professional Coders. What is Medical Coding? https://www.aapc.com/medical-coding/medical-coding.aspx
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/icd/icd10cm_pcs_background.htm