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Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration MEDICAL RECORDS TECH (Release of Information) in Albany, New York

Summary The Albany VA is currently seeking a MEDICAL RECORDS (Release of Information) Technician. The incumbent is responsible for coordinating Release of Information (ROI) Unit functions in the Health Information Management Section (HIMS). Responsibilities The employee interviews all persons who present in person with requests for release of medical information. Also handles various categories of correspondence received by personal interview, mail, or fax in to the Release of Information Section. Ascertains the purpose for which information is being requested, verifies that a valid authorization is obtained with each request, and reviews requests to determine appropriate procedures to be used when replying. At times, clerk may be responsible in assisting customers to complete Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or Medical Record Amendment requests. The employee is responsible for notifying the facility Privacy/FOIA Officer of these requests in a timely manner. Contacts professional staff to obtain information necessary to respond to requests when not readily available in the record. Maintains a record of disclosure for all information and correspondence released in accordance with all applicable laws, statutes, and regulations within the DSS ROI Record Manager software. Prepares weekly status reports on requests received, processed, and pending. Monitors these reports to ensure the requests for release of medical information are processed within twenty (20) working days of receipt. Processes correspondence accurately and in a timely manner as mandated by Federal Law using proper format for VA correspondence. Abstracts clinical data from patient records; photocopies, prints, or writes to electronic media (i.e. compact disk) requested information. Utilizes VistA and CPRS to access Remote Data View (aka VistA Web) to extract medical information from other VA Facilities; extracts scanned documents from VistA Imaging, including scanned documents from other VA facilities; pulls records as need arises and returns charts to file room. Complete knowledge of the SSN system, terminal digit filing system, filing the records correctly and all other filing unit procedures needed for retrieval of information. Coordinates the completion of various forms, to include, but not limited to insurance forms, request for handicap placards, family leave act and work releases. Assists in responding to requests for transfer of medical, administrative and treatment files to other VA Medical Centers. Quickly responds to requests for emergency medical information from hospitals, doctors, coroners, and law enforcement officials. Also responds to requests from the Social Security Administration (SSA) for copies of medical information and submits records utilizing SSA's Electronic Records Express website; requests for information on VA Form 10-7131, Exchange of Beneficiary Information and Request for Administrative and Adjudicative Action, from VA Regional Offices; and releases medical information to Veterans Service Officers upon receipt of a valid authorization, as requested. Refers all subpoenas, court orders, cases of third party liability, and all possible litigation to Legal Program Assistant for notification of Regional Counsel, taking further action as directed, potentially within a very short amount of time. Refers cases regarding workman's compensation to the Facility Revenue Manager Reviews information for sensitive material, as required by 38 U.S.C. 7332 prior to release. Composes letters of administrative and medical nature in reply to inquiries from physicians, attorneys, hospitals, insurance companies, patients and their families and other government agencies by utilizing a personal computer. Determines appropriate fees for information to be released and processes checks when received. Responsible for scanning valid authorizations for disclosure and agency responses into VistA Imaging. Answers the telephone for the Release of Information unit and transfers calls to the appropriate individual when required. Sorts all incoming mail to the HIM Section that is received. Assists in training new employees and affiliation students, as needed. Communicates and treats customers in a courteous, tactful, and respectful manner at all times. Provides the customer with consistent information according to established policies and procedures. It is often necessary to ask questions in order to get specific information from confused customers and to check with additional sources in order to determine the nature of the problem and explain to the customer how best to resolve the issue, including at times suggesting alternatives. Occasionally when the customer is disgruntled, the employee will work under additional pressure to handle the conflict and problem, dealing with the customer constructively and appropriately. Work Schedule: 0730-1600, 0800-1630 Telework: Available Functional Statement #: Requirements Conditions of Employment You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job. All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA. Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959. Must be proficient in written and spoken English. You may be required to serve a probationary period. Subject to background/security investigation. Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process. Must pass pre-employment physical examination. Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP). Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details. Qualifications Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met. Basic Requirements: Citizenship: Citizen of the United States Experience and Education Experience. One year of creditable experience that indicates knowledge of medical terminology and general understanding of health records. Six months of the required one year of creditable experience must have provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) needed to perform MRT (ROI) work. OR, (2) Education. An associate's degree from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education with a major field of study in health information technology/health information management, or a related degree with a minimum of 12 semester hours in health information technology/health information management (e.g., courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, legal aspects of health care, and introduction to health records). OR, (3) Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combinations of creditable experience and education are qualifying towards meeting basic experience requirements. The following experience and educational/training substitutions are appropriate for combining education and creditable experience: (a) Six months of creditable experience that indicates knowledge of medical terminology, privacy and release of information, the health record, and one year above high school with a minimum of six semester hours of health information technology/health information management courses. (b) Six months of creditable experience that indicates knowledge of medical terminology, privacy and release of information, the health record, and successful completion of a course for medical technicians, hospital corpsmen, medical service specialists, or hospital training obtained in a training program given by the Armed Forces or the U.S. Maritime Service under close medical and professional supervision. The training program may be substituted on a month for-month basis for up to six months of experience provided the training program included courses in anatomy and physiology, and health record techniques and procedures. Grade Determinations: Assignment. Employees at this level apply, interpret, and analyze laws and regulations related to the disclosure of health information. MRTs (ROI) are responsible for educating requestors on requirements for submitting requests for health information. They receive and validate authorization forms and requests for information and prioritize requests according to policies and regulations. They use various computer applications to track and release all authorized release of information requests. MRTs (ROI) process and release health information to authorized first- and third party requestors. They initiate and maintain the accounting of disclosure for all records disclosed from a Privacy Act system of records. They communicate with internal and external stakeholders to provide technical expertise regarding the release of information process. They ensure compliance with policies, procedures, laws, and regulations governing privacy and release of information. Medical Records Technician (ROI), GS-6 Experience. One year of creditable experience equivalent to GS 05. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: (a) Knowledge of the laws and regulations related to the authorization and disclosure of health information (e.g., Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and 38 U.S.C. ยง 7332, Confidentiality of Certain Medical Records). (b) Ability to apply health record documentation guidelines and processes to navigate efficiently through the paper and/or electronic health record to locate, assemble, and disclose protected health information. (c) Ability to apply policies, procedures, laws, and regulations governing privacy and release of information to process requests for release of information. (d) Ability to research and solve difficult questions related to release of health information in an accurate and timely manner Preferred Experience: References: VA Handbook 5005/123 PART II APPENDIX G58 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS06. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS06. Physical Requirements: Work is of a sedentary nature. Typically the employee may sit to do the work. There is some walking, standing, bending and carrying of medical records weighing up to five (5) pounds, however work does not require unusual physical capabilities. Proper body mechanics should be observed in the bending and stretching required to reach records on high or low shelves. Education IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: Additional Information Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed. This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies. This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status. VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority. Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process. If you are unable to apply online or need an alternate method to submit documents, please reach out to the Agency Contact listed in this Job Opportunity Announcement.