This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Medical Records Technician (Tumor Registration) GS-675-00

Department:Department Of Veterans Affairs

Agency:Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

Job Announcement Number:HP-646-13-AS833217

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$28,532.00 to $56,925.00 / Per Year


Thursday, January 31, 2013 to Thursday, February 21, 2013




Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent


1 vacancy in the following location:
Pittsburgh Metro Area, PA United States


All US Citizens


Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 833217 




To fulfill President Lincoln's promise – "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans. 

How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to Veterans?




  This vacancy is advertised at the range of grades covered by the VA qualifications standard. 


Note:  The incumbent will be required to perform assignments at all three facilities (University Drive, Highland Drive, and H.J. Heinz) of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.


As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. With many openings in the multiple functions of VA, you will have a wide range of opportunities at your fingertips. Not only is it the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the nation, but we also provide many other services to Veterans through the Benefits Administration and National Cemeteries.


NOTE:  The full performance level of this vacancy is a GS-8.  The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of a GS-4 to GS-8.  The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate’s education and experience and recommend the grade and step at which the candidate will be placed.  The salary is based on the grade and step approved for the selected candidate.

Who May Apply:  All US Citizens

Special Employment Consideration:  VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply


  • U. S. Citizenship
  • Must pass pre-employment examination
  • English Language Proficiency required
  • Background and-or Security Investigation required


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Major Duties:  THIS IS NOT AN ENTRY LEVEL POSITION.  CERTIFICATION AS A TUMOR REGISTRAR (CTR) IS HIGHLY DESIRED.  Medical Record Technicians organize, process, and maintain medical records and health information.  They assemble, review, analyze, code, abstract, maintain, compile, and extract medical record and health data.  MRTs check medical records for completeness, accuracy, and compliance with requirements of regulatory and accrediting agencies.  Tumor Registry positions maintain clinical registries and work to meet the standards of regulatory and accrediting agencies related to approved cancer and/or other programs requiring registries.  Thoroughly searches the medical record to identify and abstract all information pertinent to the patient's diagnosis.  Abstracting assignments may involve highly technical, complex diagnoses/procedures.  Adheres to the guidelines set forth by the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) in the Registry Operations and Data Standards (ROADS), the AJCC Staging Manual International Classification of Diseases for Oncology (ICDO), ICD-9, and SEER Surgical Codes when coding tumor registry abstracts.  Independently codes a wide variety of medical diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical procedures.  Analyzes the consistency of abstracting of registry data, cancer diagnosis, histology, treatment (including surgical procedures, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormonal therapy and radiation therapy.)  Maintains a control system to ensure that all cases of cancer are abstracted in a timely manner by adhering to the Standards of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, Registry Operations and Data Standards and appropriate VA Regulations.  Prepares correspondence and summaries of medical records in response to a variety of requests.  Reviews and screens request to release medical information from records by interpreting and applying Privacy Act and applicable local policies.  Advises researchers and healthcare staff of the data available and retrieves and compiles specified reports.  Maintains health records indexes and compiles administrative and health statistics for physicians as well as all other health care staff at this facility and throughout the VA System as well as public health officials, medical center management, planners, and others.  Conducts special studies for identifying opportunities to improve patient care.  Sets up plans to ensure the quality of services as required for an Approved Cancer Program and to prevent unsatisfactory conditions and influence acceptable services.  Researches program and operations documentation and standards.  Applies established quality assurance methods and techniques to update or make revisions to existing processes.  THIS IS A BARGAINING UNIT POSITION.


Tour of Duty:  Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM


Telework:  Position is Eligible


Physical Requirement:  The work is primarily sedentary.  The employee sits comfortably to do the work.  However, there may be some walking, standing, or carrying of light items such as manuals and files. The work does not require special physical demands.


A Recruitment or Relocation incentive of up to 25% may be authorized for highly qualified candidates.


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  • U.S. citizenship.  
  • Experience and Education
  • Physical Requirements
  • English Proficiency



(1) Experience.  Two years of experience that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work, or provide familiarity with the work.  Six months of the required 2 years of experience must have provided the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAs) needed to perform MRT work; OR, (2) Education.  Successful completion of an associate's degree with a major field of study in medical records technology/health information technology which was accredited by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) at the time the program was completed; OR, (3) Experience/Education Combination.  Equivalent combinations of experience and education are qualifying.  The following education/training substitutions are appropriate in this provision for combining education and experience: 

(a) Successful completion of an associate's degree in a field of study other than medical records/health information will substitute for 18 months of the required experience.

(b) Successful completion of a course for medical technicians, hospital corpsmen, medical service specialist, 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, may be substituted on a month-for-month basis for up to 1 year of experience.

(c) Successful completion of a post-high school course of study in medical record technology, which includes courses in anatomy, physiology, and medical record techniques and procedures, may substitute on a month-for-month basis for up to 1 year of experience.

(d) Successful completion of post-high school course for medical administrative personnel, obtained in a closely supervised training program given by the Armed Forces, may be substituted for experience on a month-for-month basis for up to 6 months provided the training program included courses in anatomy, physiology, and medical record techniques and procedures.


In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates:

GS-4: (a) Experience or Education.  None beyond basic requirements.  (b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 1. Basic knowledge of medical terminology; 2. Basic knowledge of disease processes and human anatomy; 3. Basic knowledge of medical record/health information guidelines, techniques, and procedures; 4. Knowledge of the medical and legal significance of medical records.

GS-5: (a) Experience.  At least 1 year of experience at the next lower grade level (GS-4) and must fully meet the KSAs at that level; OR (b) Education. Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a major field of study in medical record technology/health information technology or a related degree with courses related to medical record technology sufficient to evidence the core competencies identified.  In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: 1. Ability to apply knowledge of medical terminology, human anatomy/pathophysiology, and disease processes sufficient to appropriately file, locate, and disclose health information; 2. Ability to correctly apply a practical knowledge of laws and regulations related to the confidentiality of health information and the release of information from medical records; 3. Knowledge of the internal organization of medical records and medical record references and procedure as appropriate to the position; 4. Ability to use health information software appropriate to the position, such as the electronic patient record, record tracking systems, chart deficiency systems, coding and abstracting systems, release of information systems, document scanning technology, electronic spreadsheets, transcription systems, encoder products, electronic encounter forms, database software, etc. 

GS-6: (a) Experience.  One year of experience comparable to the next lower level (GS-5) and must fully meet the KSAs at that level.  In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: 1. Ability to apply knowledge of medical terminology, human anatomy/pathophysiology, and disease processes to fully understand the content of a patient record; 2. Ability to navigate efficiently through the paper and electronic medical record to find needed information; 3. Skill in interpreting and adapting health information guidelines that are not completely applicable to the work or have gaps in specificity and ability to use judgment in completing assignments with incomplete or inadequate guidelines; 4. Ability to apply laws and regulations on the confidentiality of health information (e.g., Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA); 5. Ability to apply guidelines and standards for the maintenance of an approved tumor registry.

GS-7: (a) Experience.  One year of experience comparable to the next lower grade level (GS-6) and must fully meet the KSAs at that level.  In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: 1. In-depth knowledge of professional registry practices; 2. In-depth knowledge of fundamental tumor registry operations; 3. Ability to analyze data using comparative statistical methods and present the data in graphic format; 4. Experience in meeting the standards of external approving bodies; 5. Ability to communicate with, and advise, clinical staff about registry operations, statistical reports, and the standards of approving bodies; and 6. Ability to manage priorities and coordinate work in order to complete duties at the assigned grade level in an accurate and timely fashion; ability to follow-up on pending issues; and demonstrated understanding of the impact of incomplete work. 

GS-8: CERTIFICATION AT THIS GRADE LEVEL IS HIGHLY DESIRED.  (a) Experience.  One year of experience comparable to the next lower grade level  (GS-7) and must fully meet the KSAs at that level.  In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: 1. Knowledge of chronic disease registration/data basing and specific cancer registration; 2. Advanced knowledge of medical terminology, staging of cancer, and requirements of external approving organizations; 3. Knowledge of the design, conduct, and interpretation of case ascertainment, re-abstracting, and quality assurance studies; 4. Knowledge of cancer committee processes and procedures in order to improve patient care and to verify compliance; 5. Ability to serve as subject matter expert on cancer program issues for the medical center and Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) administration as tasked; and 6. Ability to manage priorities and coordinate work in order to complete duties in an accurate and timely fashion. 




References : VA Handbook 5005 at (also available in the local Human Resources Office) and OPM Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Professional and Scientific Positions at

APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE:  Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.)  Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly.  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.

Veterans' Preference:

When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference on their application or résumé. Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must complete an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference. Veterans who are still in the service may be granted tentative preference on the basis of information contained in their applications, but they must produce a DD Form 214 or other proof prior to appointment to document entitlement to preference.  For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit


Your application, résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.   You may also be evaluated based upon the question responses you provide during a structured interview. In responding to structured interview questions you should be sure to cite specific examples of experience, explain exactly what you did, and the outcome.


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Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, thrift savings plan, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. In addition to traditional "dollars and cents" benefits, we offer a range of benefits to help balance work and life.  For more information please visit us at


This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.


This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status. 


Receiving Service Credit for 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.   VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employees credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service.  This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave.


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To begin the process, click the Apply Online button at the right side of this screen to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account. Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.

YOU MUST INCLUDE VA FORM 10-2850c IN YOUR APPLICATION PACKAGE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THIS VACANCY.   You may upload the completed form to your USAJOBS or Application Manager account if you apply online.  Then you can use the uploaded form again and again when applying for future vacancies.  Please see this guide ( for more information on uploading and re-using the form in your applications.  Other required forms and documents can also be saved in your account and used the same way.  Applicants are urged to apply online; this process is much easier and faster.

Note: To return to a previously Saved or Incomplete application, just reapply through your account in USAJOBS.  Check your account ( to see the status of your application after applying, including any messages that may have been sent to you.

If you cannot apply online:

  1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire: View Occupational Questionnaire.
  2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire:
  3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with all supporting documents to (478)757-3144.  Your 1203FX form must be placed on top of all materials being faxed and will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.
  4. Keep a copy of your fax receipt in case verification is needed.

To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload:

  1. Complete this cover page using the following Vacancy ID: 833217.  You must use this fax cover sheet in order for your documents to be matched with your online application.
  2. Fax your documents to (478)757-3144.

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Thursday, February 21, 2013.


You must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  1. CV or Resume.
  2. VA Form 10-2850c - Application for Associated Health Occupations (Available at (required).
  3. Occupational Questionnaire
  4. If prior military service, include all copies of your DD Forms 214 or proof of service (required).   Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must also complete and submit an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference (available at  
  5. If currently employed in the VA system, include latest SF-50 - Notification of Personnel Action. (required).
  6. Transcripts (If basing qualifications on education)


INCOMPLETE APPLICATION PACKAGES will receive a rating of IDMA (Failed to submit required documents).  Requests for reconsideration of ratings will not be considered for applicants who fail to submit a complete application package.  We cannot be held responsible for incompatible software, fax transmissions, etc.




Arlene Schwemmer
Phone: (412)822-3502
Agency Information:
VHA Pittsburgh VAMC
Pittsburgh, PA


After we receive your complete application package (including any required documents), your qualifications will be reviewed to decide if you meet the basic requirements.  You will be notified when this decision is made.

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