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Medical Coding Specialist

The Medical Coding Specialist Certificate Program is now accepting applications through May 3, 2013 for Summer Admissions and July 12, 2013 for Fall Admissions. Download and complete your application today. 

The Medical Coding Specialist serves as a valuable member of the health information team by ensuring accurate and valid codes are assigned to medical diagnoses and procedures for reimbursement purposes and for data collection and analysis which is an integral component of quality patient care. If your interests are directed at a healthcare profession that combines business, medicine, and computer information technology, the medical coding is an excellent career choice.

Medical Coding Specialists use their knowledge and technical skill sets to perform medical coding for reimbursement, billing, research, and statistical analysis purposes. The statistical information generated from medical coding is used in research, patient care, education, and in administrative decision-making.

The Medical Coding Specialist Certificate Program of Southern University at Shreveport Louisiana prepares graduates for careers as medical coders in both traditional and non-traditional healthcare settings. The curriculum combines the classroom setting, web-enhanced/online coursework, work in a simulated laboratory, and hands-on experience in the clinical setting. A Certificate of Applied Science as a Medical Coding Specialist is awarded upon successful completion of all academic and clinical experiences.

The courses with the Medical Coding Specialist Certificate Program are transferrable into the Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology for those students who are interested in the progression program.

The Medical Coding Specialist certificate program will seek approval by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) in 2013. Program graduates are eligible to write for the national certification examination, the Certified Coding Associate (CCA), administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). After successfully passing the examination, graduates obtain the credential Certified Coding Associate (CCA). Graduates are eligible to sit for additional national certification examinations also administered by AHIMA, which include the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) and the Certified Coding Specialist-Physician (CCS-P). However, upon the recommendation by AHIMA, graduates are encouraged to gain additional work experience prior to sitting for these two (2) specialized coding examinations.

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
233 North Michigan Avenue – Suite 2150
Chicago, IL 60601-5800
(312) 233-1100

Career Path

A career as a Medical Coding Specialist offers a diverse career opportunity to serve as a member of the healthcare workforce through the combination of health information and computer information technology. The Medical Coding Specialist Certificate provides a graduate with the knowledge base and technical skills to work in a variety of healthcare settings including acute care hospitals, ambulatory care, office-based physician practices, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation facilities, behavioral healthcare, insurance companies, etc.
Graduates may choose to apply for various job positions including Clinical Coding Specialist, Clinical Data Specialist, DRG Coordinator, DRG Specialist, Health Data Analyst, Medical Coder, Insurance/Billing Coordinator, and Coding Supervisor. (Note: This is not a complete list and job titles/positions are subject to vary by healthcare settings.)
Job prospects are very good. Employment of health information professionals is expected to increase by twenty (20) percent, much faster than the average of all occupations through 2018. According to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), health information professionals can expect to be in high demand as approximately 12,000 to 50,000 new jobs are anticipated by 2017 and the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites this profession as one of the twenty (20) fastest growing occupations in the U. S.

Program Academic Admission Requirements
Students wishing to apply for admission to the Medical Coding Specialist certificate program must:

  • Meet the general admissions criteria of the University
  • Complete an application for admission to the Medical Coding Specialist certificate program
  • Score on the ACT or University Placement Test sufficient to place in college level courses
  • Provide a copy of official transcripts from other colleges or universities attended
  • Achieve a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 and/or better in high school and in previous college course work
  • Complete BIOL 220/220L and ALLH 210 and earn a “C” or better prior to gaining admission to the Health Information Technology Program.
  • Complete an interview with the Program Director and Selection Committee (if applicable)

Program Progression Requirements
In order to achieve progress status and remain in good academic standing, the student must:

  • Pre-advise with either a Medical Coding Specialist or Health Information Technology instructor/advisor each semester and update the degree plan
  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher
  • Take professional courses in sequence and earn a grade of “C” or better in each for both the professional and non-professional components of the Medical Coding
  • Specialist curriculum (or permission of the Program Director)
  • Achieve a satisfactory evaluation for each professional practice experience resulting in a “C” or better
  • If a grade of “D” or below is earned in a non-professional course, the student may progress, provided that the course is not a prerequisite to a course in the professional component of the Medical Coding Specialist curriculum
  • Agree/consent to criminal background checks prior to entering the clinical phase of the program

Program Requirements for Graduation
A Certificate of Applied Science as a Medical Coding Specialist is conferred upon a student when the following conditions have been met:

  • Successful completion of all required courses
  • Achievement of an overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher in all Medical Coding Specialist certificate courses
  • Successfully complete the Entry Level Review Seminar and the Coding Review Seminar at the end of the first year course work
  • Clearance of all indebtedness to the University
  • Payment of national certification examination fee has been made to the American Health Information Management

Please see your advisor or University Catalog for more information

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