Health Information Management
The Health Information Management Program at Mount Wachusett Community College provides students with the opportunity to earn an Associate Degree in Health Information Management. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared to enter the workforce and work in various positions relevant to the management of health data. During the course of study, students will develop skills and competencies in coding and health information management. Students will gain knowledge in organization, analysis, evaluation, compilation, and coding of health records, utilizing state of the art software applications.
Health Information Management Degree (HIM)
The Health Information Management program is designed to prepare graduates to enter the workforce and work in various positions relevant to the management of health data. Health information management is a little known, but vital, component of the health care process. Individuals working in HIM are at the intersection of medicine, business, and law, and play a vital role in ensuring that the healthcare organization is compliant with state and federal regulations regarding capture, storage, and release of all medical data. This field is seeing rapid expansion with major federal initiatives: the conversion of all medical records to an electronic medium at a national level, the conversion of the coding structure used throughout the US, and a new method of paying for healthcare (pay for performance). These initiatives will require significant new hiring of HIM-credentialed people to meet workforce needs over the next ten years. It has been noted that individuals who have an interest in the medical field and information technology skills may contribute greatly to the health care industry without being direct care providers.
|HIM 101||Introduction to Health Data||4|
|HIM 102||Medical Terminology for Health Information Management||3|
|ENG 101||College Writing I||3|
|CIS 127||Computer Technologies||3|
|BIO 199||Anatomy and Physiology I (formerly BIO203)||4|
|PSY 105||Introduction To Psychology||3|
|BIO 204||Anatomy and Physiology II||4|
|HIM 130||Diagnostic Coding||4|
|HIM 150||Patho pharmacology||4|
|MAT 126||Topics In Mathematics (or higher)||3|
|HIM 103||Professional Practice Experience I||1|
|HIM 160||Procedural Coding||4|
|HIM 201||Computer Systems for Health Information Management||3|
|ENG 102||College Writing II||3|
|HIM 140||Medical Legal Aspects||3|
|HIM 110||Health Care Statistics, Data Literacy and Quality Management||4|
|HIM 170||Physician Coding: HCPCS CPT||4|
|HIM 180||Health Information Financial Management and Reimbursement Methods||4|
|HIM 190||Compliance and Supervision||2|
|HIM 200||Professional Practice Experience (PPE) II||2|
|HIM 210||RHIT Exam Review||1|
|HIM 220||Comparative Health Information Management||3|
Humanities Electives: Please see Elective Courses by Abbreviation.
See Health Information Management program student learning outcomes and technical standards.
HIM classes are offered online only.
HIM students are required to keep pace with the incoming class and must take courses in sequential order. All BIO and HIM courses require a grade of C+ or better in order to be eligible for promotion to the next level.
Students seeking to participate in HIM 103 Professional Practice Experience I and/or HIM 200 Professional Practice Experience (PPE) II may be subject to meeting additional technical standards and requirements which may include immunizations, a Criminal/Sexual Offender Records Information (CORI/SORI) check, fingerprinting, and drug testing. Some of these may be done at the student’s expense.
Technology is integrated into all aspects of attending college in the 21st century. Students are expected to have proficient computer skills and the ability to access the internet via desktop/laptop computer. Internet access may be from home or through a public site, such as a local public library, public college or at any Mount Wachusett Community College campuses.
Career Options/Earning potential
For career options, please click here.
Program Student Learning Outcomes for Health Information Management (HIM)
Upon graduation from this program, students shall have demonstrated the ability to:
- Communicate effectively and accurately through oral, written and electronic means.
- Collaborate as a member of the health care team in the organization, analysis, evaluation, compilation, and coding of health records utilizing state of the art software applications.
- Demonstrate evidence based practice that integrates research and expertise in health information management.
- Apply quality improvement and utilization review principles to ensure the highest quality of information management according to professional standards.
- Participate in patient centered care and information management within the legal, ethical, and regulatory framework of the health information management profession.
Technical Standards1 for Health Information Management (HIM)
For general information about technical standards and accommodation, see Technical Standards.
Students entering this program must be able to demonstrate the ability to:
- Lift, carry, pull or push up to 50 pounds occasionally.
- Sit for long periods of time.
- Comprehend textbook material at the 11th grade level.
- Communicate and assimilate information either in spoken, printed, signed, or computer voice format.
- Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
- Be able to type 30 words per minute for three minutes with three or fewer errors using the "touch" method of typing.
- Write at a college level as evidenced by completion of ENG 098 Fundamentals of Writing or placement into ENG 101 English Composition I.
- Read typewritten text and patient data from a computer screen with or without corrective devices.
- Communicate with patients and staff in the English language.
- Maintain cleanliness and personal grooming consistent with close personal contact.
- Possess hearing with or without corrective devices to be able to transcribe medical dictation from recorded media.
- Comprehend and respond to the spoken word of all age-specific groups.
- Function without causing harm to self or others if under the influence of prescription or over-the-counter medications.
- Function without causing harm to others. This would include situations that may result from chronic mental or physical conditions.
- React quickly, both mentally and physically.
- Work as a member of a team.
- Exhibit social skills appropriate to professional interactions.
HIM 101. Introduction to Health Data. 4 Credits.
This course introduces the student to the structure and form of the health record. Emphasis is placed on patient record content, storage and retrieval, release of information, forms control, indexes and registries, and health services organization and delivery. Lab assignments and online Learning Lab provides students with an opportunity to apply textbook chapter concepts through completion of application-based activities. Prerequisites: Enrollment in HIM or MCC; ENG 098, FYE 101 (or placement); BIO 152 (or corequisite) or BIO 199 and BIO 204 (or corequisite); HIM 102 (or corequisite).
HIM 102. Medical Terminology for Health Information Management. 3 Credits.
Through participation in lecture student will develop an understanding of medical terminology as it relates to healthcare and the ICD-10-CM/PCS classification systems. Applications of medical terminology as it relates to diagnostic and procedural groupings will be discussed. This course provides a comprehensive understanding of medical terminology that relates to diagnoses, treatments and surgeries for all body systems. Prerequisites: ENG 098, RDG 098.
HIM 103. Professional Practice Experience I. 1 Credit.
Through participation in professional site visits the student will complete a 40 hour field based unpaid practice experience and complete written journal entries and assignments based on the field experience. The topics for the written assignments will include documentation requirements of the health record, identification of a complete health record based on the organizations policies and procedures and other relevant topics as determined by the instructor. Prerequisites: Enrollment in HIM; HIM 101, HIM 130, HIM 150. Summer.
HIM 104. Professional Practice Experience for Medical Coding Certificate. 1 Credit.
Through participation in professional site visits, the student will complete an unpaid 40-hour, field-based practice experience with a focus on medical coding. Students will complete written journal entries and assignments based on the field experience assigned. The topics for the written assignments may include documentation requirements of the health record based on the organization’s policies and procedures and other relevant topics as determined by the instructor. Prerequisites: HIM 130, HIM 150, HIM 160, HIM 170; HIM 175, HIM 180, HIM 190 (or corequisites). Fall.
HIM 110. Health Care Statistics, Data Literacy and Quality Management. 4 Credits.
This course will outline the procedures associated with vital statistics in healthcare with emphasis on descriptive statistics found in the acute hospital care setting. The data literacy portion will focus on data search and access techniques, and skill development in data presentation techniques. Also, the course defines quality in the context of healthcare provider services, and evaluates performance improvement initiatives by federal mandate, accrediting bodies, and insurance payers. An appreciation of the methods of assessing quality improvement, risk management, and utilization management will be developed, as well as attaining an understanding of the medical staff credentialing process. This course places emphasis on competency skill building through the use of labs, case studies, active engagement and thoughtful assignments. Prerequisites: HIM 101, MAT 126. Fall.
HIM 130. Diagnostic Coding. 4 Credits.
This is an entry level course in the study of the official coding rules, guidelines, and classification systems for assigning valid diagnostic and/or procedure codes utilizing ICD-10-CM. Students will abstract health information according to regulatory guidelines for acute hospital coding. Lab time is required. Prerequisites: Health Information Management: HIM 101, HIM 102, BIO 199 (or corequisite);
Medical Coding Certificate: HIM 101, HIM 102, BIO 152. Spring.
HIM 140. Medical Legal Aspects. 3 Credits.
This course is composed of four main areas: a study of the legal system and legal procedures, a study of ethics, a study of issues related to the control and use of patient-specific health information, and specialty concerns in health information management, such as healthcare fraud and abuse. Three federal regulations receive special focus as they are significant to HIM: HIPAA, ARRA, and GINA. This course places emphasis on competency skill building through the use of case studies, presentations, and thoughtful assignments. Prerequisites: HIM 101. Fall.
HIM 150. Patho pharmacology. 4 Credits.
This course combines the study of pharmacology with the disease process (pathology) linking the two in a way that helps to reinforce key learning concepts in both domains. The student will learn through the use of textbook readings, video clips, PowerPoint slides, and Studyware which consists of exercises, case studies, and reinforcement games. Students will also research and debate current events in the fields of disease and drug treatments. Prerequisites: Enrollment in HIM or MCC programs; BIO 152 or BIO 199 or BIO 204; HIM 102.
HIM 160. Procedural Coding. 4 Credits.
This course emphasizes ICD-10-PCS which is an entirely different classification system based on the essential components of a procedure. Under the new system, codes are built from a number of variables, including body system, root operation, body part, approach, and more. And in some cases, multiple codes may be needed to describe each of the specific components of a procedure or service. Lab time is required. Prerequisite: Health Information Management: HIM 130; Medical Coding Certificate: HIM 130 (or corequisite). Fall.
HIM 170. Physician Coding: HCPCS & CPT. 4 Credits.
This course is a study of the official coding rules, guidelines, and classification systems for assigning valid diagnostic and procedure codes. Students will abstract health information according to regulatory guidelines for ambulatory hospital coding. The differentiation of correct codes in an outpatient hospital and physician office setting will be covered. Students will focus on proper utilization of current official coding rules and guidelines using virtual training management systems software. Laboratory time is required. Prerequisite: Health Information Management: HIM 130; Medical Coding Certificate: HIM 130 prerequisite (or co-requisite). Spring.
HIM 175. Advanced Coding. 4 Credits.
This course is designed to enhance a student’s skills in the assignment of ICD and CPT codes for hospital, ambulatory surgery, home health care, long term care, skilled nursing facility, rehabilitation and physician based clinical coding. Codes will be assigned for intermediate and advanced clinical cases using case scenarios and excerpts from health records. Prerequisites: HIM 130, HIM 160, HIM 170. Fall.
HIM 180. Health Information Financial Management and Reimbursement Methods. 4 Credits.
This required course will focus on financial concepts for healthcare managers, reimbursement methodologies and revenue cycle management. Readings will highlight the financing and delivery of health services in the United States. Emphasis is placed on case study and problem solving. Students must have completed at least two coding courses in order to be able to assimilate the revenue cycle management theories that are the focus of this course. Prerequisites: HIM 160 and HIM 170 (or corequisite).
HIM 190. Compliance and Supervision. 2 Credits.
This required course will focus on two AHIMA domains of learning including human resource management and supervision and coding compliance. Guidelines on performing coding compliance reviews and developing a coding compliance program will be the focus, with discussions on the differences between coding and billing, medical necessity, reviewing techniques, educational guides and coding compliance strategies. Emphasis is placed on case study and problem solving. Students must have completed at least two coding courses in order to be able to assimilate the coding compliance theories that are the focus of this course. Prerequisites: HIM 160, HIM 170 (or corequisite).
HIM 200. Professional Practice Experience (PPE) II. 2 Credits.
This course aids the student in making the transition from student to employee. The student will practice professional competencies to prepare them for employment in the HIM career field. Students will perform advanced functions of the health information management (HIM) department in an unpaid learning experience. The activities will represent application of all HIM coursework. The student will be placed in an acute care facility for the purpose of assimilating theory with practice (40 hours minimum) and an additional 40 hours in an alternate care site. Prerequisites: Enrollment in HIM; HIM 103, HIM 160, HIM 170 (or corequisite). Spring.
HIM 201. Computer Systems for Health Information Management. 3 Credits.
Through participation in lecture student will develop an understanding of electronic health information systems as it relates to data collection, data governance, data management and data use in a variety of health care settings. Clinical, administrative and financial electronic systems will be evaluated for various types of health care facilities. Verification methods to control data security will be addressed. Students will demonstrate the ability to collect and maintain health data and organize data presentations using graphical tools. Students will evaluate various electronic information systems and analyze information needs of facilities.
Prerequisites: HIM 101.
HIM 210. RHIT Exam Review. 1 Credit.
This course introduces the student to the structure and format of the AHIMA RHIT credential exam. By reviewing previous course content and completing practice exams, the student will acquire testing skills and knowledge to be prepared to take the RHIT credential exam. Prerequisites: HIM 160, HIM 170 (or corequisite), HIM 180 (or corequisite), HIM 220 (or corequisite).
HIM 220. Comparative Health Information Management. 3 Credits.
Through participation in lecture, student will develop an understanding of health information documentation requirements, federal regulations, health care data sets, quality management pertaining to ambulatory care, physician offices, dental offices, long term care, hospice, correctional facilities, mental health and other facilities. The course will provide students with a comparative analysis of various HIM practices and information management in a variety of health care settings.Prerequisites: HIM 160 and HIM 170 (or corequisite).