Medical Coding

The Medical Coding Certificate Program at Mount Wachusett Community College provides students with the preparation needed for positions in a variety of healthcare settings.  Upon completion of the program, students will have the skills and competencies to pursuit an entry-level position in medical coding. Courses completed as part of this certificate program can be applied to the Health Information Management Degree.

Medical Coding Certificate (MCC)

The Medical Coding Certificate program provides students with an understanding of the principles and methodology of ICD-10 and CPT-4 coding to access gainful employment in the healthcare industry. Medical coders assign codes to medical diagnoses, procedures, and services for which the healthcare providers will be reimbursed. If you are detail-oriented, have strong computer skills, and are seeking a career in healthcare, the Certificate in Medical Coding may be for you. For more information, please call 978-630-9292.

Year 1
FallCredits
BIO 152Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology 4
HIM 101Introduction to Health Data 4
ENG 101College Writing I 3
HIM 102Medical Terminology for Health Information Management 3
Spring
HIM 170Physician Coding: HCPCS CPT 4
HIM 130Diagnostic Coding 4
HIM 150Patho pharmacology 4
HIM 160Procedural Coding 4
Year 2
Fall
HIM 180Health Information Financial Management and Reimbursement Methods 4
HIM 190Compliance and Supervision 2
HIM 103Professional Practice Experience I 1
HIM 175Advanced Coding 4
 Total Credits: 41

Campus

HIM classes are offered online only.

Helpful hints

Some courses are offered only in the semester they are shown in the guide; students must register for these courses when they are offered. It is suggested that students meet with an advisor for class selection. The advising center can be reached at 978-630-9109.

Special requirements

Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.  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 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 or tablet. 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.

Transfer options

This program is intended for immediate career entry. Courses completed as part of this certificate program can be applied to the Health Information Management Degree.

Career options/Earning potential

For career options, please click here.

Gainful Employment Program Disclosure Information

For gainful employment information, please click here.

Program Competencies for Medical Coding (MCC)

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 MCC

1

For general information about technical standards and accommodation, see Technical Standards.

Students entering this program must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • 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.
  • 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.
 

Courses

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 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.

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-9 and 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, 102, BIO 199 (or corequisite); Medical Coding Certificate: HIM 101 (or corequisite), HIM 102, BIO 152 (or corequisite).

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.

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-9 and 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).

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).

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.

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 160. 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).