Health Science |

Physician Office-Based Coding Certificate

The Physician Office-Based Coding Certificate (C1_POB1) is offered at LSC-North Harris and has additional entrance requirements. For more information, please contact the Health Information Technology Department.

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Program Description

The health information technology (HIT) associate of applied science degree is designed to prepare graduates for entry level employment as health information technicians. The associate of applied science degree program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. The hospital-based coding certificate is currently approved by the Council on Certification of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Program accreditation allows AAS degree graduates to apply for certification examination to become Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT). In addition, program accreditation allows hospital-based coding certificate graduates to apply for certification examination to become a Certified Coding Associate (CCA).

Registered health information technicians perform technical medical record functions vital to the operation of the organization, including analyzing, coding, and health record evaluation. Registered health information technicians process, maintain, complete and report health information data for reimbursement, facility planning, marketing, risk management, utilization management, quality assessment and research. Graduates may be employed in a variety of settings including hospitals, health maintenance organizations, and other health care facilities.

The general education core will transfer to a variety of colleges and universities. Contact a counselor or faculty member at any of the colleges/universities for specific information and to obtain the recommended sequencing of courses.

To meet graduation requirements for any of the certificate or degree programs in the health information technology department, students must attain a grade of “C” or better in each major and general education course. Courses with grades less than a “C” must be repeated.

In addition, students must meet the Student Success Initiative requirements as established by Lone Star College System. Students must demonstrate proficiency in MATH 0308 prior to graduation. Even though the prerequisite for the HIT major courses is MATH 0306, other academic courses such as BIOL 2401 require the completion of MATH 0308. Once the prerequisite for BIOL 2401 is met, the student has met this requirement for graduation.

Admission Criteria For The Physician Office-Based Certificate

Admission to either coding certificate program requires completion of an application found on the LSC-North Harris Web site. Applications are due May 1st for fall entry. Applicants seeking admission into these programs must successfully pass a criminal background check. Students may be required to show proof of immunizations such as tetanus and MMR (mumps, measles, rubella). Students may also be required to document negative results from a tuberculosis test. Applicants must cover the cost of the background check, immunizations and drug screen if required by clinical affiliates. Admission requires the following:

  1. college-level reading and writing readiness skill
  2. completion of ENGL 0305 or ENGL 0365 & ENGL 0307 or ENGL 0375 or higher
  3. completion of MATH 0306 or higher

A certificate in hospital-based medical coding prepares the technician to assign a code to a medical diagnosis or procedure. Medical coders consult classification manuals and rely on their knowledge of disease processes to assign codes. After completion of the certificate, graduates are eligible to sit for a national certification exam administered by AHIMA and become certified as a certified coding associate. The coding certificate program begins in the summer semester. Students wishing to begin the certificate program at any other time besides the summer may take some of the core classes or prerequisites for the program.

The physician-based coding certificate prepares the technician to work in ambulatory settings such as clinics and doctors’ offices. Also known as billing and coding specialists, the medical biller is an integral part of the medical team. Their contribution is essential to running the medical office. Since most of the revenues generated by a medical office involve patient care, billing and collecting the revenue generated from patient care is one of the vital functions of the medical biller. Medical billers may also handle such things as filling out claim forms, corresponding with patients, managing office supplies, and handling minor accounting for the office. Students completing this certificate will be certified by the American Association of Professional Coders after one year of experience.

Employment of medical records and health information technicians is expected to increase by 18 percent through 2016 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is faster than the average for all occupations because of rapid growth in the number of medical tests, treatments, and procedures that will be increasingly scrutinized by health insurance companies, regulators, courts, and consumers. Technicians will be needed to enter patient information into computer databases to comply with Federal legislation mandating the use of electronic medical records.

Students admitted to the program will be required to pay liability insurance during the semesters involving off-campus practicums or internships. At some facilities, students may be required to successfully pass a criminal background check and drug screen, as well as to show proof of immunizations such tetanus and MMR (mumps, measles, rubella). Students may also be required to document negative results from a tuberculosis test. These costs are borne by the student.

Program Plan

Prerequisite

Course Number Title Credits
HITT 1305 Medical Terminology I 3
COSC 1401 Introduction to Computers OR 4
ITSC 1401 Introduction to Computers  

TOTAL Prerequisite Credits:

7

First Year Credit

Course Number Title Credits
BIOL 2404 Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology 4
POFM 1317 Medical Administative Support 3
HPRS 2301 Pathophysiology 3
HITT 1213 Insurance Coding 2
HITT 2340 Advanced Medical Billing & Reimbursement 3
HPRS 2300 Pharmacology for Health Professions 3
HITT 1342 Ambulatory Coding 3
HPRS 2321 Medical Law & Ethics for Health Professionals 3
HITT1 1280 Cooperative Education 2

TOTAL Credits for First Year:

26

Total Credits

TOTAL Credits for
Physician Office-Based Coding Certificate:

33

  1. Capstone course
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