Health Information Management FAQs
Are the HIM programs completely online?
Yes, all courses are online with the exception of the clinical courses. For the associate degree, one clinical is required during the last semester. For the coding certificate, there is one clinical required also during the last semester. Students will complete clinicals at an approved facility to practice skills learned in the program. Clinical sites may be added to meet the needs of the distance learning students, and a form will be sent so students may request preferred sites near their location.
Are proctored exams part of the HIM program?
Yes, program courses require at least final proctored exams for most courses. Proctored exams are supervised or monitored. Students are responsible for any costs associated with proctor examinations.
What types of careers are available in Health Information Management?
There are approximately 60+ careers based on education and experience. See the Career Map by AHIMA at www.ahima.org/careers. The Bureau of Labor estimates an increase of 40,000 more jobs in the HIM field between 2012-2020 (Reference: BLS.gov under Medical Record and Health Information Technicians)
I am not sure if online courses are right for me. Any suggestions?
With online classes, students do best when setting regular times each week for study and completion of assignments. Having good reading comprehension, and taking the opportunity to ask the instructor questions when clarification is needed is important in student success. The Distance Education department of Midland College offers the Smarter Measure tool. Smarter Measure allows you to see how well you are prepared for learning online. Questions on topics such as: how well you can use a computer; how motivated, organized, and self-directed you are as well as your preference in learning new information (learning style), etc.
To use this tool, follow the steps below:
1) Go to http://midland.startermeasure.com.
2) In the First Time User box, click on the Username box and select mchitt.
3) Enter the password midlandcollege
4) Click Login.
Once the student logs in, he/she will be prompted to create a user account. This will allow the student to return to Smartermeasure to complete the assessment in the event they are unable to finish in one setting. It will also allow them to return, call up their report and email it to the program director to discuss.
Contact Sylvia Gray at 432-685-5576 if there are any issues with access.
Please visit http://www.midland.edu/students/academics/smartermeasure.php for your free self-assessment
What are the requirements for the program?
Beginning Fall 2014, Both Associate Degree and Coding & Billing Certificate students must meet all Midland College requirements, including TSI completion for Math, Reading, and Writing (unless exempt). Certificates not requiring the TSI completion are: Health Data Coordinator, or either of the Health Data Specialist one-year certificates. Also the HITECH Workforce Program and Rural HIT Workforce grant-funded programs are not TSI eligible.
PREREQUISITES at Midland College (effective Fall 2014)
Before students will be accepted into the Associate degree, students must complete with a "C" or better the following courses as prerequisites at Midland College.
HITT 1205 or 1305 Medical Terminology (or HPRS 1206/1306)
BCIS 1305 or BCIS 1405: A computer application course (3 or 4 hours)
BIOL 2404 Human Anatomy and Physiology OR BIOL 2401 and BIOL 2402. (all BIOL courses require TSI math complete).
See transferability requirements below for students who are considering transferring from another HIM program.
Will my previous courses transfer to Midland College?
For credit consideration, an official transcript must be sent to the admissions office for evaluation by the registrar.
HIM program courses must meet the following requirements before transfer will occur:
*Transferring HITT courses must be from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM).
*Transferring courses must have comparable course objectives equivalent to MC Health Information Management courses.
*HITT Courses must have been completed within 4 years of starting the program at Midland College (exception HITT 1205 Medical Terminology).
*BCIS 1405 (or 1305) must have been completed within 4 years with a grade of "C" or better. If not recent, students must retake the course.
*General academic courses within the HIM program must be completed with a “C” or better and be equivalent to current Midland College courses as proven by a Degree Audit done through the MC Registrar’s Office. There is no time limit for completion of these courses, but official copies must be reviewed by the registrar's office for credit consideration.
I am interested in becoming a Certified Tumor Registar (CTR). Can this program help me accomplish this?
Yes, there is an option for graduates with an associate degree. For more information about cancer registry certifications, see the link http://www.ctrexam.org/eligibility/index.htm#sub4
Students enrolled in HIM Programs (degree and/or certificate) will require a background check, proof of insurance for the clinical semesters, current immunizations including flu vaccine, drug screen, TB tests, OSHA module completion, and HIPAA and Confidentiality statements on file before Clinical Experience may begin. Other requirements of the clinical facility may be required.
Students that will not take any classes on the Midland College campus are still required to have the Meningitis vaccine 10 days prior to the first day of the class.
Clinical courses will require students to visit facilities to practice skills learned in the courses. Travel may be required, but students may complete clinicals at a facility near their home. (Associates Degree and Coding Certificate). Clinical sites may not allow students with felonies to participate at their facility as this determined by the facility, not the college or HIM program. Any concerns a student may have about evidence of criminal records should be discussed with the program chair prior to submission of application. The clinical course must be taken at Midland College for credit.
What computer capabilities do I need for these classes?
High-Speed Internet, Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint, and an understanding of basic computer skills, i.e., email, internet surfing, and downloading and uploading files..
How much does the program cost?
Health Data Coordinator
Health Data Specialist
Medical Coding Specialist
HIM Associate Degree
Tuition estimates are based on full-time hours for each program with the assumption that no previous coursework has been completed. Estimates based on academic year 2014-2015. http://catalog.midland.edu/content.php?catoid=5&navoid=521#Payment
New book costs are estimated to be $2,200 for AAS degree, $1,400 for Medical Coding Specialist Certificate, and $800 for other certificates.
I am interested in the program. How do I get started?
1) Apply to Midland College, please see http://www.midland.edu/students/registration_process.php. Associate and Medical Coding Specialist certificates use the code 325 for Pre-Health Professions. Others certificates should use the HIM certificate option.
2) Complete your financial aid forms at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
3) Request OFFICIAL transcripts from previous colleges attended to be mailed to the Enrollment Services Office at Midland College, 3600 N Garfield, Midland, TX 79705, ATTN: Enrollment Services. Please NOTE on your application when the transcript was requested. Evaluation of the transcript may take the Registrar’s Office up to 6 weeks to review.
4) Once you have completed the above steps, contact Melinda Teel, HIM Program Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5) Complete an Admission Packet to the HIM program after the prerequisites have been completed, including TSI requirements. Students may send application 6 weeks before end of the semester while finishing prerequisite courses.
6) Contact the Financial Aid office at least 3 weeks prior to to the beginning of the semester to verify your status and financial aid.
I am already working in the field of health information. Can my work experience be applied to my courses for credit?
Student experience in the health information/coding/billing will be taken under consideration on a case-by-case basis. Proof of employment by letter on company letterhead, a current resume, and job description are part of the requirements to request Life Experience Credit. Clinical courses (HITT 1167 and HITT 2261) will not be waived, but the number of clinical hours may be reduced.
I am attending MC on Pell grant and have vouchers to purchase books from the bookstore. How does this work?
The student must fax or e-mail financial aid to get their signature on the voucher. Financial aid takes the voucher and the student's schedule to the bookstore. The student e-mails the bookstore, email@example.com, to inform them they will have a voucher for their books and provide them with the student's mailing address and phone number.
It is a very simple process, but during the crush of students on Pell release date, sometimes the distance students get lost in the shuffle. The students who get the best results, contact the bookstore a week or so before voucher release date. We have their books pulled and ready to go as soon as we receive the voucher.
NOTE: Students should have textbooks BEFORE classes start. Contact your instructor for a syllabus for textbook requirements, or view textbooks at www.midlandcollegebookstore.com.
What does a coder do and how does a coder get credentialed?
Coders analyze the information in patient records and determine the diagnoses, procedures, and other services that need to be assigned to report the services to the payer or for research purposes. By understanding anatomy and physiology, pharmaceuticals, pathophysiology, and the documentation requirements of medical records, coders are able to analyze the information to accurately report this data. It is used for public health, reimbursement, research, financial strategy of the facility,and other purposes. Because of the need for qualified and trained personnel, coders are paid well, especially those with credentials and experience. Visit www.hicareers.com/CareerMap for more information about coding careers and credentials. Students who complete the associate program will have these coding courses plus courses in computers, statistics, quality assessment, management and other competencies in HIM healthcare professions.
Do coding credentials waive the requirement for the coding courses?
Students who have proof of a current CCA, CCS or CCS-P credential and maintain their CE credits while attending college may receive credit for the following classes:
HITT 1205 Medical Terminology
HITT 1341 Coding and Classification Systems
HITT 1342 Ambulatory Coding
HITT 2335 Coding and Reimbursement Methodologies
HITT 2340 Advanced Medical Billing and Coding
I am having trouble with my student account on Campus Connect. What do I do?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 432-685-4531 for issues related to:
- Application to Midland College has not been processed - no confirmation email received
- Need for Campus Connect student ID user name and password
- "Holds" on student accounts.
Registration and cashier departments can be reached at 432-685-4513.
How long does the program take to complete?
The Certificates can be completed from one semester to one year, including the summer semester. Associate Programs can be completed in two years, including summers. Many students choose to take classes on a part-time basis due to family, employment, or other obligations. Courses are arranged so part-time students can complete the programs according to developed course progression. Contact Melinda Teel, Program Chair at email@example.com or the HIM Student Support Services at 432-685-6891.
Is there a time limit to complete the program?
Yes. There is a four-year window to complete the associate degree because the course information changes frequently for national testing exams. Other programs must be completed in 3 years.
When can I start the program?
Students who submit the application and complete prerequisites are accepted each semester for the HIM Associate degree and the Coding & Billing certificate on a first come, first serve basis. Not all classes are offered every semester, so check with the program chair for a course progression (or Advisement) to stay on track. It is important to follow the set progression because many classes have prerequisites, and some classes are only offered once a year. Students are accepted each semester to fill open seats in the program.
*Note: There is a four-year window to complete all required HITT courses. Completing all supporting and prerequisite courses prior to admission into the program can be beneficial for part-time students.
What if I miss the deadline for application?
If the program fills before you are accepted or you miss the deadline for applications, there are several courses that can be taken to work on your degree completion. These include coursework for your basic requirements such as BCIS 1305 Business Computer Applications, BIOL 2404 Human Anatomy and Physiology, speech, humanities, pathophysiology, and medical terminology. Also, students may take HITT 1311 Health Information Systems or HITT 1353 Legal and Ethical Aspects of HIM prior to being accepted into the program. Course schedules and upcoming enrollment dates can be found on the college’s main webpage at www.midland.edu . Enroll early because even supporting classes can fill up fast.
Can I get a job when I graduate?
The opportunities for HIM Professionals are growing each year. There is a high demand for credentialed professionals, and it is expected that there will be a 22% increase in the number of HIM/HIT related jobs between 2012-2022 (Reference: bls.gov). AHIMA published an article that reported the growth of needed credential professionals is 75,000 by 2013. Midland College works with students and communities to meet employment needs. Graduates find jobs at hospitals, Veterans Administration, clinics (such as teaching hospitals), physician offices, insurance companies, and other health agencies. It is estimated that Texas will need over 9,000 more employees to work in Health Information Technology (this includes physician practice, consultants, Regional Extension Centers, and Health Information Exchanges) by 2015.
For more information about the job market, visit:
How do I get my RHIT?
With an Associate’s degree from Midland College or other CAHIIM ACCREDITED PROGRAM, graduates may sit for the national exam, the Registered Health Information Technology (RHIT) credential. Students completing the Coding Certificate are encouraged to take the CCS-P, (Certified Coding Specialist – Physician based) or CCA examination. By passing this exam, graduates are able to prove knowledge and competency in coding and billing. To read more credentialing exam opportunities and certification requirements, go to www.ahima.org
* Notice ... As future health information technicians, transcriptionists, and coders, there are important ethical and professional considerations of which you should be aware. Felony convictions may prevent your from being placed for professional practice experiences in health care facilities and other types of organizations (e.g., insurance companies). Felony convictions may also preclude you from obtaining gainful employment as a health information technician or coder. Even after obtaining your professional credential (e.g., RHIT, CPC, CCS), convictions of such crimes may cause your credential to be suspended or revoked. It is very important that you conduct yourself professionally and ethically as a law abiding citizen.
For more information, please contact:
Raquel Valenzuela, RHIT firstname.lastname@example.org
HIM Department 432-685-6891