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Health Information Technology / Healthcare Informatics / Coding Overview


Health Information Technology / Healthcare Informatics / Coding

Career/Program Overview

RCTC offers three program options related to Health Information Management careers. These include an Associate in Applied Science degree in Health Information Technology, a Coding Diploma, and a Healthcare Informatics Certificate. 

Health Information Technicians analyze, secure, and maintain patient health information. Other duties include coding diagnoses, processing reimbursements, managing release of medical information, maintaining quality assurance, and protecting patient data privacy.

Coders are specifically trained in the coding of medical/health records. By assigning the proper codes to diagnoses and procedures, accurate financial reimbursement may be made by insurance companies and government agencies. 

Healthcare Informatics graduates are trained in the noncoding electronic aspects of health information.  Specifically, these skills include archiving, document scanning, data management, release of information, record completion, accreditation compliance, and quality assurance. 

Curriculum-at-a-Glance

Some of the core courses required to complete the Health Information Technician degree include the following:  Medical Terminology, Anatomy and Physiology, Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, Microcomputer Applications, Coding and Reimbursement, Supervision of Health Information, Computerized Health Information, Health Record Systems, Legal Aspects of Health Information, Quality Analysis and Health Statistics, and Internships. 

Program/Degree Options

RCTC offers a Coding Diploma, a Healthcare Informatics Certificate and the Health Information Technology Associate in Applied Science degree.  The certificate, the diploma, and the AAS degree can all be completed entirely online. 

Program Start Date(s)

Students can start coursework any semester.  All courses are offered fall and spring semester; there are limited

course offerings in the summer.

Career Opportunities/Information

Health Information Technology graduates may find work in quality assurance, computer information services, tumor registries, or release of medical information.  Some technicians are responsible for coding diagnoses and procedures for reimbursement while other technicians concentrate in patient data privacy rights and other ethical, legal and regulatory requirements.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of health information management professionals is expected to grow much faster than the average (increase of 27% or higher) for all occupations through 2014.  Moreover, competitive salaries also await graduates; in fact, new graduates with an associate’s degree can earn between $30,000 and $34,000 annually.  With advanced experience or a bachelor’s degree, salaries in the $40,000 - $75,000 range are possible. 

Gainful Employment Programs

Gainful employment programs are those “that prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.”

RCTC gainful employment information for Coding Specialist Diploma and Healthcare Informatics Certificate:
http://www.mnscu.edu/admissions/ge/rochester/002373-51.0713/gedt-002373-51.0713.htm

http://www.mnscu.edu/admissions/ge/rochester/002373-51.0707/gedt-002373-51.0707.htm

Accreditations/Articulations

Rochester Community and Technical College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission:  A Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. 

The HIT program is also accredited as a quality online program by NCA. 

The RCTC Health Information Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) in association with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

For additional information on the most current list of RCTC program articulations see us at: http://www.rctc.edu/catalog/articulations.

Additional Information

Program Website: http://www.rctc.edu/program/hit
Program Plan: http://www.rctc.edu/catalog/programs
More Information: http://www.rctc.edu/contact

Last Updated: April 7, 2014

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