Health Information Technology/Coding

Students in the Health Information Technology program must be able to obtain a satisfactory MN state and/or federal background check. Failure to have a satisfactory background check could prevent students from obtaining the necessary professional practice experience (clinical/internship). The clinical/internship experience is required for graduation and dictated by program accreditation standards.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) - 64 credits

About this program
The health information technician is an important member of the health care team who secures, analyzes, integrates and manages health information for patient care, performs diagnostic and procedure coding, utilizes electronic systems for reimbursement, planning and research activities, and maintains a legal patient record. This information steers the health care industry. The program is designed to combine general education and technical courses for a well-rounded and functional education. To further the student's knowledge, the program utilizes Web-based educational electronic health record systems, and time is spent in health care facilities.
Program outcomes
  1. Assign diagnostic and procedure codes according to official guidelines.
  2. Identify information technologies that support patient care activities and strategic planning.
  3. Apply standards, regulations and guidelines to health information activities to ensure compliance.
  4. Participate in health care quality management and improvement processes.
  5. Apply legal concepts and principles to the practice of health information management.
  6. Summarize the health care reimbursement revenue cycle.
  7. Analyze and manage data.
Employment
Medical records and health information technicians, commonly referred to as health information technicians, organize and manage health information data. They ensure that the information maintains its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security in both paper files and electronic systems. They use various classification systems to code and categorize patient information for insurance reimbursement purposes, for databases and registries, and to maintain patients’ medical and treatment histories. Today, approximately 50% of health care services are being delivered in other settings, such as physician offices, clinics, nursing homes, home health and hospice agencies, and mental health facilities, with an increasing number of job openings for Registered Health Information Technicians (RHITs) in those areas. Also law firms, computer software vendors, insurance companies and reimbursement review companies are seeking the services of RHITs. Employment of medical records and health information technicians is expected to increase by 15 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations through 2024. Employment growth will result from the increased number of medical tests, treatments, and procedures that will be performed. As the population continues to age, the occurrence of health-related problems will increase. In addition, with the increasing use of electronic health records, more technicians will be needed to complete the new responsibilities associated with electronic data management. Information obtained from Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.
Accreditation
The Health Information Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Minnesota State Community and Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. More information can be found at www.minnesota.edu/accreditation.
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