Continually changing regulations for reimbursement of health care services issued by the government and other third-party payers have created a demand for qualified medical coders. A medical coder is a valuable member of the health information team who is responsible for translating diagnostic and procedural phrases into coded form. The coded information is then utilized for reimbursement purposes, analysis of patient outcomes and research.
Students will be instructed in ICD, CPT, MS-DRGs, APCs and other third party reimbursement methodologies. A thorough understanding of coding guidelines, anatomy and physiology and disease processes are required in order to understand the disease and procedures to be coded. The medical coder must also have a thorough understanding of the content of the medical record, legal and ethical issues, and information systems.
Students who complete the medical coding certificate program are eligible to sit for coding certification examinations. The program recommends the CCA exam (Certified Coding Associate). See the American Health Information Management Association Web site www.ahima.org for additional information regarding coding certification exams.
The medical coding certificate program is an afternoon or night track, 36-credit course of study that will prepare students for entry-level employment as medical coders. A new group of students begins each fall semester. The summer semester courses are very accelerated and the schedule is rigorous. Prospective students in the medical coding certificate program must meet criteria as outlined in program preapplication requirements. Fulfilling the criteria does not guarantee admission to the program. You must apply and be accepted into the program to take HIT courses.
According to various sections of the Ohio Law and Regulations for Certification and Licensure Boards, persons convicted of any felony or a misdemeanor may not be able accepted into a health program at Stark State College; may not be able to take the licensure or certification examinations; may be refused acceptance of placement by the clinical/practicum sites; or may have restrictions placed on their ability to practice. For more information, contact the dean of student services and the applicable licensure/certification board.