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

Job Title:Medical Record Technician (Cancer Registrar Abstractors)

Department:Department Of Veterans Affairs

Agency:Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

Job Announcement Number:JP-13-JLC-857337

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$35,306.00 to $62,961.00 / Per Year


Tuesday, March 12, 2013 to Wednesday, March 27, 2013




Part Time 20 hours - Permanent


1 vacancy - Houston, TX United StatesView Map


United States Citizens


Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 857337 

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?


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.


Special Employment Consideration:  VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply.


NOTE:  GS-675-5/6/7/8 - A Professional Standards Board will determine the selectee’s starting grade level based on the applicant’s education and experience.


  • U. S. Citizenship
  • Must pass pre-employment examination
  • English Language Proficiency required
  • Designated and-or Random Drug Testing required
  • Background and-or Security Investigation required
  • Certified Cancer Registrar


Back to top

Please NOTE:  The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-08. 

The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate's qualifications 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. 

The incumbent serves as a Cancer Registrar (Certified Cancer Registry or CTR eligible (must obtain certification within one year from date of hire) in a large, complex, VA Medical Center with complete oncology services (Medicine Care Line). Incumbent is responsible for abstracting and ICD-O coding clinical data from patient medical records, using appropriate classification systems, AJCC TNM plus collaborative staging and analyzing health records according to published governmental standards. The work of the position supports the care and treatment given to patients with malignant conditions. Data entry is required by the certified Tumor registrar.  Certified Tumor Registrar or CTR eligible (must obtain certification within one year from date of hire). Applicant should be proficient in abstracting and staging the cases.




Abstracts, Codes and Maintains Registry Records 


According to the requirements of the Commission on Cancer, Cancer Committee, the National VA Oncology Program and the NCI SEER Programs, incumbent identifies required reportable diseases in this facility’s patients through the use of the VISTA Oncology Program.


Thoroughly searches the medical record to identify and code all information pertinent to the patient’s diagnosis. This includes demographics, diagnosis, site and histology, diagnostic procedures, extent of disease, and treatment. Coding assignments may involve highly technical, complex diagnoses/procedures.  The incumbent utilizes coding references to ensure that complete and accurate data is collected. Codes information contained on several forms and documents that makes up an entire record; codes diseases, surgical procedures, and co-morbid conditions.  In addition, uses specific codes required in a cancer registry, stage of disease, morphology and topography using International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, AJCC Staging Manual, and the FORDS manual.  Independently codes a wide variety of medical diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical procedures.  These include: 


·         Codes stages of disease using American Joint Commission on Cancer   staging requirements.


·         Analyzes the consistency of coding of registry data, cancer diagnosis, histology, treatment, (including surgical procedures, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormonal therapy and radiation therapy).


·         Identifies coding discrepancies. 


·         Facilitates resolution of coding discrepancies by discussion with providers.


·         Codes complicated medical records having diagnostic, surgical and therapeutic procedures that are identified as difficult to classify.


·         Reviews records to obtain data. 


·         Enters data obtained from the record into the registry software. 


·         Analyzes data retrieved and provides the results to health care staff for research, patient care, protocol studies and trends in cancer.


·         Ability to work independently


·         Assist in preparing annual reports, short-and-long term audits, survival and end-results, qualification studies for research grants, cost containment assessments, and other statistical summaries.


·         Maintains accurate follow-up data on more than 90% of cancer patients treated in this facility. The incumbent must follow these patients until their death, entering the progression of their disease into the computer program, using narrative and coding as required. Each patient abstract is updated as recurrences develop and annual follow-up is completed.


·         Applies legal principles, policies, regulations and standards for the control and use of medical record information. This individual performs all Cancer Registry functions in compliance with national, state, local regulations and administrative law, including data collection and corrections


·         Participates as a team member in periodic surveys of the Cancer Program at this facility for accreditation purposes.


·         Responsible for maintaining the security and integrity of the administrative and clinical records in the possession of the cancer registry.


Other duties as assigned by Supervisory Cancer Center Program Analyst and Chief of Section.



2)  Tour of Duty:  (Include days/times and whether alternate work schedule is available)

            One  Part-time Position- (20hurs/week, Monday – Friday) 4 hours a day 8:00am - noon   




Back to top


  • U.S. citizenship.  
  • Experience and Education

(1) Experience. Two years of experience that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work, or provides 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.


(2) Education. Successful completion of an associate's degree with a major field of study in medical record technology/health information technology which was accredited by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) at the time the program was completed.


(3) Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combinations of experience and education are qualifying.



GS-5: ExperienceIn addition to the basic requirements, at least 1 year of experience at the next lower grade level and must fully meet the KSAs at that level.

OR EducationSuccessful 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 procedures 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:  ExperienceOne year of experience comparable to the GS-5 level 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. If assigned to medical record analysis, ability to judge whether medical records contain sufficient information for regulatory requirements; are acceptable as legal documents; are adequate for continuity of patient care; and support education and research needs. This includes the ability to take appropriate actions if medical record contents are not adequate; accurate, timely, and/or reliable;

5. 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);

6. If assigned to a tumor registry position, ability to apply guidelines and standards for the maintenance of an approved tumor registry; and

7. If assigned to a medical coding position, comprehensive knowledge of classification systems, such as current versions of International Classification of Diseases (ICD), Current Procedural Technology (CPT), the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED) or Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), and skill in applying coding knowledge.


GS-7:  Experience:  One year of experience comparable to the GS-6 grade level 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:  Experience: One year of experience comparable to the GS-7 grade level for the appropriate assignment area and must fully meet the KSAs at that level.

In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:

(1)   Ability to analyze the medical record to identify all pertinent diagnoses and procedures for coding, and to evaluate the adequacy of the documentation.   This includes the ability to read and understand the content of the medical record, the terminology, the significance of the comments, and the disease process/pathophysiology of the patient;

(2)   Skill in reviewing medical record documentation and assigning current versions of the classification systems required in the current position, such as ICD and CPT; and

(3)   Advanced knowledge of the full scope of coding and abstracting including inpatient discharges, surgical cases, diagnostic studies and procedures, outpatient encounters, and inpatient professional fees for a highly diversified range of specialties and subspecialties, such as orthopedics, neurosurgery, cardiology, gastroenterology, plastic surgery, spinal cord injury, blind rehabilitation, anesthesia, acute and long term psychiatry including addiction treatment, hospice, ambulatory surgery, and other types of care.



References: VA Handbook 5005/15, Part II, Appendix G35, Medical Records Technician QUALIFICATION STANDARD , dated March 17, 2006.

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


You will be evaluated based on the detailed information submitted in your resume that reflects your knowledge, skills, and ability necessary to meet the qualification of this position.  Although you are not required to submit essay-style responses to the individual KSAs specifically in your initial resume/application package, your resume should contain enough detailed information to reflect the fact that you possess the following KSAs:



1.    Knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, medical procedures and diagnosis.


2.    Knowledge of computerized information systems in order to access and analyze data, i.e. DHCP/VISTA/CPRS.


3.    Knowledge of and proficiency in Microsoft word, excel, power point and outlook.


4.    Knowledge of automated medical records systems. Knowledge of privacy and Freedom of Information Act requirements and agency policies with regard to the release of information.


5.    Knowledge and understanding of recognized reference standards, medical and legal requirements, regulatory and accrediting agency requirements to perform medical record analysis and evaluate the adequacy of a cancer registry program.


6.    Knowledge in oral and written communication techniques. Facility with computerized word processing program.


7.    Knowledge of statistics as it relates to data collection and analysis of medical records in large, complex medical center setting.


8.    Knowledge of ICD-O and ICD-9-CM classification systems, SEER, AJCC cancer staging systems, collaborative staging and other standard reference systems.



Back to top

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.


Back to top

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 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: 857337.  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 Wednesday, March 27, 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. Optional Form 306 - Declaration for Federal Employment (Available at  This is a required form and must be submitted with your application.
  5. If prior military service, include all copies of your DD Forms 214 (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  
  6. If currently employed in the VA system, include latest SF-50 - Notification of Personnel Action. (required).


Human Resources
Phone: (713)794-7458
Agency Information:
Medical Care Line
Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center
2002 Holcombe Blvd
Houston, TX


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 by email.


Applicant’s Responsibility:  It is the applicant's responsibility to submit documentation to support his/her application for this position.  Applicant is responsible for ensuring that all experience, education, formal training, award recognition, etc. are documented in the application package.  Experience may include voluntary or other non-paid experience in the appropriate field.  If you feel that your training record contains information pertinent to your qualifications, then you must submit a printed copy of your training record with your application package.  Your training record will become a part of the specific vacancy file and will not be filed in Official Personnel Folder.

This announcement is not intended to cover all aspects of the duties, responsibilities or qualifications of this position. Request for copies, return of forms or transfer of consideration to another announcement will not be honored.

Employees must meet qualification standards and other regulatory requirements by the closing date of the announcement.


Back to top
Print Preview

Job Announcement Number:


Control Number: