Medical Coder Certificate Program Information Packet

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1 Medical Coder Certificate Program Information Packet Thank you for your interest in obtaining information about our program. This guide provides information regarding the Medical Coder program. Education and training is key to becoming a skilled and successful medical coder. Brookhaven College s Medical Coder Program is a college credit certificate program consisting of 32 credit hours that provides training in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, electronic health records, legal and ethical standards in health care, as well coding and insurance procedures. Upon program completion, students will have the technical skills needed to enter the healthcare market as an entry-level medical coder/biller in a variety of health care settings. The curriculum also provides a foundation for students to prepare and complete the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam administered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Contact Information Nehal Rangnekar, MS, CPC, Professor/Coordinator of Medical Front Office/Medical Coder programs, , Building Q, Room 213 Gale Wilson, Instructional Specialist, Building M, Room 128 expression. Revised 03/21/2016 1

2 What is Medical Coding? Medical coding is the process of translating written description, whether electronic paper, of diagnosis, procedures, medical services, and equipment into standard alphanumeric/numeric codes. The diagnoses and procedure codes are taken from medical record documentation, such as transcription of physician's notes, laboratory and radiologic results, etc. Healthcare workers who specialize in coding are called medical records coders, health information coders, coder/abstractors or coding specialists to name a few. What Does a Medical Coder Do? Medical coding specialists rely on their knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, diseases and medications to assign a diagnostic or procedural code to each entry in a patient s record. They review medical records to help ensure the codes are applied correctly during the medical billing process so that the physician practices and hospitals they work for get reimbursed from insurance companies for services and facilities provided to patients. Typical responsibilities of a medical coder include: Analyzing medical records and assigning codes to diagnoses and procedures. Processing charges for patient billing, insurance claims and account management. Tabulating information for health surveys, research studies and improved patient care. Communicating with other healthcare personnel to clarify diagnoses or obtain additional information. Why is this a Good Career Bet? Health care reform and an aging population play a large role in the growth of all medicalrelated jobs. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for certified medical coders will increase 22 percent through the year 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. AAPC s 2014 Salary Survey proves that it s a good time to be working on the business side of healthcare. With an unemployment rate of only 1.4 percent, Certified Professional Coders are the most gainfully employed members. Potential Employers: As a medical coder, you will find opportunities for employment with a: Family practice Specialist s practice Primary healthcare organization expression. Revised 03/21/2016 2

3 Long-term care home or extended care home Medical insurance company Billing service organization Agency related to healthcare Surgical Center Others Entry-level position titles include: Certified Medical Coder Medical Coding Specialist Medical Coding Associate Medical Records Coding Specialist Medical Records Technician Health Information Management Technician Career options include: Medical Billing and Coding Medical Insurance Health Information Management Medical Records DISCLAIMER: The Medical Coder Certificate Program does not guarantee job placement in hospitals, medical offices, or insurance claims offices. Additionally, the program does not prepare students for starting a home/office coding business. What Are the Certification Exams? Students are encouraged to complete the Certified Professional Coder, CPC, exam administered by the American Academy of Professional Coders, AAPC, upon successful completion of this program to enhance employment opportunities. Upon successfully passing this exam, medical coders with experience will earn the designation of Certified Professional Coder, CPC. Successful exam completers without on-the-job coding experience will receive a CPC-A credential after passing the exam (the A stands for apprentice status; refer to AAPC website for requirements to remove apprentice designation). Certifications are nationally recognized by employers, physician societies, and government organizations. Additionally, certified medical coders typically earn 20 percent more than non-certified coders (AAPC s medical coding salary survey). expression. Revised 03/21/2016 3

4 Application Criteria-New Students: 1. Complete application for admission to a Dallas County Community College District college. (available online) a. Applicants to the Medical Coder Program must meet college admission requirements of the DCCCD as outlined in the college catalog. b. Applicants must have earned either a high school diploma or General Education Development, GED, certificate 2. Submit official transcripts and proof of accreditation from every undergraduate college (HS, GED, or College) attended outside of the DCCCD to the College Admissions Office: a. Brookhaven College Attention: General Admissions 3939 Valley View Lane Farmers Branch, TX b. All official transcripts from all colleges attended must be submitted PRIOR to applying to the program c. Five-Year Time Limit: All coursework must have been completed less than five years prior to the start of the class for which you are applying. Courses taken five years or more prior to the enrollment at the college will not count as credit hours toward the Medical Coder certificate. d. No coursework will be accepted from a college outside of the United States. e. Brookhaven College reserves the right to accept or reject any coursework completed at other colleges presented for transfer evaluation toward the Medical Coder Program and will be at the discretion of the program coordinator. f. NOTE: You must earn at least 25 percent of the credit hours required for graduation through the Brookhaven College Medical Coder Program. 3. Submit proof of Bacterial Meningitis (for students under age 22) 4. Arrange for financial resources: a. Financial Aid: Students needing financial assistance are encouraged to complete the applications for financial aid as early as possible. b. Financial aid information may be obtained by visiting the Financial Aid Office, Building S, Rm. S015, for application forms, filing procedures, and deadlines. For more information, c. Following application submittal, allow an eight to 10 week period for processing. d. Early application assures availability of funds, if qualified, and allows the Financial Aid Office to prepare a realistic financial aid package. 5. Attend an information session its entirety, this is MANDATORY to apply to the Brookhaven College Medical Coder Program. 6. Register for classes with program advisor; students may not self-advise or self-register in our Medical Coder program. expression. Revised 03/21/2016 4

5 7. Make payment: a. Tuition, textbooks, and other fees stated are approximate and are subject to change. This cost estimate does not include the fees for immunizations, criminal background check, or drug testing. See the Brookhaven College Accounting Office for Tuition Payment Plan option. 8. Successfully complete the following prerequisites with a C or better in each course: a. POFI 1301 Computer Applications I b. MDCA 1313 Medical Terminology c. MDCA 1409 Anatomy and Physiology for Medical Assistants Currently Enrolled Students: 1. Must participate in an advising session led by the program advisors each semester - in fall (October November) or spring (April), to obtain approval to register for the upcoming semester. Students may not self-advise or self-register in our Medical Coder program. 2. Must maintain a minimum of C in each class to be eligible to enroll in the next classes. If a grade of D or F is earned, the student must schedule an appointment with a program adviser before enrolling in any additional classes. 3. For successful preparation and future employment in a healthcare setting, you are required to have the following: a. Social Security Number (international students are advised to contact the Brookhaven College Multicultural Center, Building S, Room S136, concerning this requirement.) b. Valid ID with photo expression. Revised 03/21/2016 5

6 Medical Coder Certificate Program The Medical Coder Certificate Program is a college credit certificate program consisting of 32 credit hours. Upon program completion, students will have the technical skills needed to enter the healthcare market as an entry-level medical coder/biller. The curriculum also provides a foundation to students to prepare and complete the Certified Professional Coder, CPC, exam administered by the American Academy of Professional Coders, AAPC. Prefix Number Course Name Credit Hrs. Prerequisites POFI 1301 Computer Applications I 3 MDCA 1313 Medical Terminology 3 MDCA 1409 Anatomy & Physiology 4 Total 10 Semester I HITT 1301 Health Data Content & Structure 3 HITT 2371 Pathophysiology & Pharmacology 3 HITT 1341 Coding & Classification Systems 3 Total 9 Semester II HITT 1311 Health Information Systems 3 HITT 1253 Legal & Ethical Aspects of Information 2 HITT 1342 Ambulatory Coding 3 Total 8 Semester III HITT 2335 Coding & Reimbursement Methodologies 3 HITT 2245 Coding Certification Exam Review 2 Total 5 Program Total 32 expression. Revised 03/21/2016 6

7 Estimated Expenses The tuition is charged according to the number of credit hours for which a student enrolls and location of legal residence (for information about residency, refer to the listing titled Residency Requirements and Your Tuition in the college catalog). Tuition, textbooks, and other fees stated are approximate and are subject to change. See the Brookhaven College Accounting Office for Tuition Payment Plan option. Tuition, Textbooks, and Supplies In-County Residents = $59 per credit hour Other Texas Residents = $111 per credit hour Prerequisites, Semesters I, II & III Tuition (32 credit hours x $59 per credit hour) Textbooks & Supplies Estimated Total In-County Resident $ 1,888 $ 2,000 $ 3,888 Out-of-County Resident $ 3,552 $ 2,000 $ 5,552 Regardless of resource funding, textbooks and supplies are required by the second class session. Financial Aid: Determine financial needs. See financial aid counselor for questions, if needed. Apply early for the next semester! expression. Revised 03/21/2016 7

8 Program Sequence Courses are scheduled in a particular sequence for a reason. Knowledge, skills, and attitudes are developed throughout each course and they build upon each other, moving from the simple to the complex. You may enroll in the classes either as full-time or part-time. Courses should be completed with a minimum college credit of C in each course. If courses from the Prerequisites or Semester I were taken as Continuing Education, the units must be converted to credit before enrolling in any courses from Semester II onwards. Class Schedule for Fall & Spring - Prerequisites Courses Online Campus POFI 1301 Computer Applications I MDCA 1313 Medical Terminology, 12 weeks, 8 weeks Mon./Wed. noon- 1:20 p.m. () Wed. - 5:40 p.m.-7:00 p.m. () Tues./Thur. - 10:30-11:50 a.m. () Saturday - 9 a.m.-noon (15 weeks) MDCA 1409 Anatomy & Physiology for Medical Assistants Important: Upon successful completion of the three prerequisites you must sign up for an advising session before enrolling in Semester I courses; students may not self-advise or self-register in our Medical Coder program. Advising sessions are offered in fall (October November) or spring (April). During this session, classes will be discussed with your program advisor; and you will be registered for the next semester. expression. Revised 03/21/2016 8

9 Class Schedule for Fall & Spring - Semester I Courses Online Campus HITT 1301 Health Data Content & Structure HIT 2371 Pathophysiology & Pharmacology HITT 1341 Coding & Classification Systems Tues./Thur. - 10:30-11:50 a.m. () Tues. - 7:40-9:30 p.m. () Important: Sign up for an advising session offered in fall (October November) or spring (April). Register for classes with program advisor for the next semester; students may not selfadvise or self-register in our Medical Coder program. Class Schedule for Fall & Spring - Semester II Courses Online Campus HITT 1311 Health Information Systems (Hybrid format) Tues./Thurs. 9-10:20 a.m. () HITT 1253 Legal and Ethical Aspects of Health Information HITT 1342 Ambulatory Coding (Hybrid format) (Some on campus meetings will be scheduled as needed by the instructor) Important: Sign up for an advising session offered in fall (October November) or spring (April). Register for classes with program advisor for the next semester; students may not selfadvise or self-register in our Medical Coder program. expression. Revised 03/21/2016 9

10 Class Schedule for Fall & Spring - Semester III Courses Online Campus HITT 2335 Coding and Reimbursement Methodologies HITT 2245 Coding Certification Exam Review (Hybrid format) (Some on campus meetings will be scheduled as needed by the instructor) Class Schedule for Summer The following table shows typical schedule and are the only classes offered in the summer for the prerequisite courses. The content is the same as offered in fall and spring semesters; however, it is fast-paced and condensed in less time for most courses offered in the summer Courses Online Campus POFI 1301 Computer Applications I MDCA 1313 Medical Terminology MDCA 1409 Anatomy & Physiology for Medical Assistants 10 weeks 10 weeks, 12 weeks 10 weeks Saturday 9 a.m.- noon (12 weeks) NOTE: Program guidelines are subject to change. Students are advised to obtain the latest program information packet from the Brookhaven College website below. Visit the Medical Coder Certificate Program web page at and go to M in the A-Z index. expression. Revised 03/21/

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