Health Information Technology Career Pathway at Durham Tech

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Let's put something in here about ICD-10 training.


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Health Information Technology is a combination of business, science, and information technology. It’s the process of acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information, which is vital to providing quality patient care.

Health Information technologists are responsible for the quality, integrity, and protection of patient’s health information. HIT’s ensure the health information is classified and standardized for clinical, financial, and legal uses in healthcare. Health Information professionals care for patients by caring for their medical data. Some examples of records they complete and monitor are lab results,
x-rays, clinical information and notes.


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Medical Coding is a health information profession whose main duties are to analyze clinical statements and assign standard codes using a classification system. The data produced are an integral part of the medical record. A coder therefore requires a good knowledge of medical terminology, clinical documentation, legal aspects of health information, health data standards, classification conventions, and computer- or paper-based data management, usually as obtained through formal education and on-the-job training.


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Complete the following Continuing Education courses:
  1. Anatomy and Physiology Refresher
  2. Medical Terminology
  3. ICD-10 Coding

Registered Health Information Technician

Description: Professionals holding the RHIT credential are health information technicians who:
  • Ensure the quality of medical records by verifying their completeness, accuracy, and proper entry into computer systems.
  • Use computer applications to assemble and analyze patient data for the purpose of improving patient care or controlling costs.
  • Often specialize in coding diagnoses and procedures in patient records for reimbursement and research. An additional role for RHITs is cancer registrars — compiling and maintaining data on cancer patients.
With experience, the RHIT credential holds solid potential for advancement to management positions, especially when combined with a bachelor's degree. Although most RHITs work in hospitals, they are also found in other healthcare settings including office-based physician practices, nursing homes, home health agencies, mental health facilities, and public health agencies. In fact, RHITs may be employed in any organization that uses patient data or health information, such as pharmaceutical companies, law and insurance firms, and health product vendors. For more information, visit: http://www.ahima.org/certification/RHIT

Eligibility Requirements: Successfully complete the academic requirements, at an associate's degree level, of an HIM program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)

Career Options: Visit http://hicareers.com/careermap/

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You will need one of the following credentials:
  • RHIT
  • RHIT: Registered Health Information Technician

    Description: Professionals holding the RHIT credential are health information technicians who:
    • Ensure the quality of medical records by verifying their completeness, accuracy, and proper entry into computer systems.
    • Use computer applications to assemble and analyze patient data for the purpose of improving patient care or controlling costs.
    • Often specialize in coding diagnoses and procedures in patient records for reimbursement and research. An additional role for RHITs is cancer registrars — compiling and maintaining data on cancer patients.
    With experience, the RHIT credential holds solid potential for advancement to management positions, especially when combined with a bachelor's degree. Although most RHITs work in hospitals, they are also found in other healthcare settings including office-based physician practices, nursing homes, home health agencies, mental health facilities, and public health agencies. In fact, RHITs may be employed in any organization that uses patient data or health information, such as pharmaceutical companies, law and insurance firms, and health product vendors. For more information, visit: http://www.ahima.org/certification/RHIT

    Eligibility Requirements: Successfully complete the academic requirements, at an associate's degree level, of an HIM program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)

    Career Options: Visit http://hicareers.com/careermap/ ×
  • CCS
  • CSS:Certified Coding Specialist

    Description:Certified Coding Specialists (CSS) are skilled in classifying medical data from patient records, generally in a hospital setting. These coding practitioners:
    • Review patients’ records and assign numeric codes for each diagnosis and procedure;
    • Possess expertise in the ICD-9-CM and CPT coding systems; and
    • Are knowledgeable about medical terminology, disease processes, and pharmacology.

    Different facilities and institutions make use of a CCSs' skills:
    • Hospitals and medical providers take the coded data created by CCSs to insurance companies—or to the government in the case of Medicare and Medicaid recipients—for reimbursement of expenses
    • Researchers and public health officials also use this data to monitor patterns and explore new interventions.

    Coding accuracy is highly important to healthcare organizations, and has an impact on revenues and describing health outcomes. In fact, certification has become an implicit industry standard. Accordingly, the CCS credential demonstrates a practitioner's tested data quality and integrity skills, and mastery of coding proficiency. Professionals experienced in coding inpatient and outpatient records should consider obtaining this certification. For more information, visit http://www.ahima.org/certification/CCS

    Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:
    • By Credential: RHIA®, RHIT®, or CCS-P® OR
    • By Education: Completion of a coding training program that includes anatomy & physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, medical terminology, reimbursement methodology, intermediate/advanced ICD diagnostic/procedural and CPT coding; OR
    • By Experience: Minimum of two (2) years of related coding experience directly applying codes; OR
    • By Credential with Experience: CCA® plus one (1) year of coding experience directly applying codes; OR
    • Other Coding credential from other certifying organization plus one (1) year coding experience directly applying codes.
    ×
  • CPC-H
  • CPC-H: Certified Professional Coder — Hospital Outpatient

    • Proficiency in assigning accurate medical codes for diagnoses, procedures and services performed in the outpatient setting (emergency department visits, outpatient clinic visits, same day surgeries, diagnostic testing (radiology and laboratory) and outpatient therapies (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and chemotherapy).
    • Proficiency across a wide range of services, which include evaluation and management, anesthesia, surgical services, radiology, pathology and medicine.
    • Knowledge of coding rules and regulations along with keeping current on issues regarding medical coding, compliance and reimbursement under outpatient grouping systems. A trained coding professional can better handle issues such as medical necessity, claims denials, bundling issues and charge capture.
    • Ability to integrate coding and reimbursement rule changes in a timely manner to include updating the Charge Description Master (CDM), fee updates and the Field Locators (FL) on the UB04.
    • Correctly completing a CMS 1500 for ASC services and UB04 for outpatient services, including the appropriate application of modifiers.
    • Knowledge of anatomy, physiology and medical terminology commensurate with ability to correctly code provider services and diagnoses.
    • A working knowledge in the assignment of ICD-9-CM codes from Volumes 1 and 2.
    For more information, visit http://www.aapc.com/certification/cpc-h.aspx ×

After completing the CCS or the CPS-H credentials, you will also need to complete the following Continuing Education courses:
  1. Medical Coding Series
  2. Coding Boot Camp

OR

You will need one of the following credentials:
  • RHIT
  • RHIT: Registered Health Information Technician

    Description: Professionals holding the RHIT credential are health information technicians who:
    • Ensure the quality of medical records by verifying their completeness, accuracy, and proper entry into computer systems.
    • Use computer applications to assemble and analyze patient data for the purpose of improving patient care or controlling costs.
    • Often specialize in coding diagnoses and procedures in patient records for reimbursement and research. An additional role for RHITs is cancer registrars — compiling and maintaining data on cancer patients.
    With experience, the RHIT credential holds solid potential for advancement to management positions, especially when combined with a bachelor's degree. Although most RHITs work in hospitals, they are also found in other healthcare settings including office-based physician practices, nursing homes, home health agencies, mental health facilities, and public health agencies. In fact, RHITs may be employed in any organization that uses patient data or health information, such as pharmaceutical companies, law and insurance firms, and health product vendors. For more information, visit: http://www.ahima.org/certification/RHIT

    Eligibility Requirements: Successfully complete the academic requirements, at an associate's degree level, of an HIM program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)

    Career Options: Visit http://hicareers.com/careermap/ ×
  • CCS-P
  • CCS-P: Certified Coding Specialist-Physician Based

    Description:Physician-based Certified Coding Specialists are coding practitioners who:
    • Specialize in physician-based settings such as physician offices, group practices, multi-specialty clinics, or specialty centers;
    • Possess in-depth knowledge of the CPT coding system and familiarity with the ICD-9-CM and HCPCS Level II coding systems;
    • Are experts in health information documentation, data integrity, and quality; and
    • Play a critical role in a health provider's business operations, because patients' coded data is submitted to insurance companies or the government for expense reimbursement.

    The employment outlook for CCS-Ps is highly favorable, considering the growth of managed care and the movement of health services delivery beyond the hospital setting. Professionals performing coding in a doctor's office, clinic, or similar setting should consider obtaining the CCS-P certification to testify to their capabilities. The CCS-P certification exam assesses mastery-level proficiency in coding rather than entry-level skills. For more information, visit http://www.ahima.org/certification/ccsp

    Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:
    • By Credential: RHIA®, RHIT®, or CCS® OR
    • By Education: Completion of a coding training program that includes anatomy & physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, medical terminology, reimbursement methodology, intermediate/advanced ICD diagnostic/procedural and CPT coding; OR
    • By Experience: Minimum of two (2) years of related coding experience directly applying codes; OR
    • By Credential with Experience: CCA® plus one (1) year of coding experience directly applying codes; OR
    • Other Coding credential from other certifying organization plus one (1) year coding experience directly applying codes.
    ×
  • CPC
  • CPC: Certified Coding Professional

    • Expertise in reviewing and assigning accurate medical codes for diagnoses, procedures, and services performed by physicians and other qualified health care providers;
    • Proficiency across a wide range of services, including evaluation and management, anesthesia, surgical services, radiology, pathology and medicine;
    • A sound knowledge of medical coding rules and regulations including compliance and reimbursement – allowing a CPC® to better handle issues such as medical necessity, claims denials, bundling issues and charge capture;
    • Knowing how to integrate medical coding and reimbursement rule changes into a practice's reimbursement processes; and
    • Knowledge of anatomy, physiology and medical terminology necessary to correctly code provider diagnosis and services.

    For more information, visit http://www.aapc.com/certification/cpc.aspx ×

After completing the CCS, CPS-H, CCS-P, or the CPC credentials, you will also need to complete the following Continuing Education courses:
  1. Medical Coding Series
  2. Coding Boot Camp


  Complete the AAS Degree in Health Information Technology.  


Learn about Health Information Technology in the CFNC.org Career Profile or in AHIMA Health Information 101.


For more information regarding job descriptions, job titles, and salaries, view the 2010 AHIMA Salary Survey Summary Analysis.


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