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Medical Coding Certificate FAQ

General

For whom is the program intended?
The program works well for those who would like to work in a healthcare setting, but not in direct contact with patients.  The program can be a great fit for any student looking for flexibility in a profession with a strong attention to detail and organization.

What is a Medical Coder?
A medical coder is an individual who reads information in the patient health record, extract pertinent diagnoses and procedures, and assigns medical codes to each medical diagnosis and procedure. Once fully coded, the medical coder sends the record to the medical biller for reimbursement purposes.

What are the admission requirements?
Prospective students must first be admitted to IUPUI as an undergraduate student. Upon acceptance to IUPUI, students must complete prerequisite courses including anatomy, physiology and database design. Students must earn a minimum grade of a C in each class with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 in order to take the coding core classes.

Do I need to take the ACT or SAT?
The Medical Coding Certificate program follows University policy when the student is admitted to the University/School of Informatics and Computing. For more information visit: Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Who are the faculty for the program?
Courses in the Medical Coding program are taught with rigor by our top Health Information Management (HIM) Medical Coding experts. The HIM faculty will be your guide for completing course assignments, meeting course objectives and participating in eLearning activities.

What courses are required?
Required courses include medical terminology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, coding, medical reimbursement and basic concepts of health information. The Medical Coding Certificate courses are designed to better prepare students to sit for industry standard certifications.

How long does it take to complete a Medical Coding Certificate?
It will depend on how many courses you take each semester. If you take a full credit course load, it would be possible to complete the certificate program in as little as nine months. Courses are offered every semester.

How long do I have to earn my degree?
The Medical Coding Certificate program follows state and federal requirements regarding program completion deadline. For more detailed information visit: Office of Student Financial Services

Will I be able to get professional experience in my classes?
There is a coding practicum course that is a requirement of the Medical Coding Certificate which provides students with hands-on industry experience.

Is Financial Aid or scholarships available?
Students are encouraged to visit the IUPUI Financial Aid Office at Office of Student Financial Services as well as SOIC Undergrad Financial Aid & Scholarships for more information.

What jobs opportunities are there once I graduate?
A Certificate in Medical Coding can be the foundation for a variety of positions, including:

Are employers hiring in this profession?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of health information managers which includes medical coding, is expected to grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for health services is on the rise as the healthcare system goes digital, the ICD-10 coding system is implemented, and the population ages. There are approximately 12,000 to 50,000 new jobs anticipated by 2017.

Accreditation

Is the Medical Coding Certificate program at IUPUI accredited?
CAHIIM accredits Health Information Management (HIM) Associate, Bachelor, and Master degree programs along with administering credential certification exams for Health Information Management (RHIA) and Medical Coding (CCA) programs. Upon completing our Medical Coding Certificate, students are able to sit for CAHIIM’s Certified Coding Associate certification exam.

Certified Coding Associate (CCA) Examination
Medical Coding Certificate graduates are eligible to seek the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) credential offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Enrollment, Credits and Transferability

When is enrollment open?
Students may enroll during open enrollment each spring and fall. For more information visit: Office of the Registrar

How many credits are required for the program?
The Medical Coding Certificate is a 26-credit-hour program. All courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher to count towards degree completion. The core courses are available online with some offering an on campus option. Credit earned for the certificate may be applied toward the Bachelor of Science degree in Health Information Management (application and acceptance into the Health Information Management (HIM) program required).

How do I know whether my credits will transfer?
Transcripts are reviewed by the IUPUI admissions advising professionals for transfer credit.

Do you have an option for advanced placement or testing out of classes?
Credit for applicable work experience or completion of college level classes may be available according to University policy. For more information visit: University College Orientation Services or Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Online

Is this an online program?
Coursework may be a combination of on campus and online classes.

Are online courses right for me?
Online classes offer flexibility to study while still having time to work and accommodate other life commitments. Those taking online courses use technology to communicate with classmates and instructors. In order to be successful in online classes, students should be self-motivated and able to handle their time wisely. Online courses have little to no face-to-face interaction with instructors and other students, but there is a classroom and instructor (theoretically) available 24 hours a day.

Can I complete the certificate if I live out of state?
Out of state students may complete the online classes. For the classes that are offered on campus, academic advisors work with students to ensure equivalent courses are being taken at local universities.

Will I need special equipment to take online classes?
Learning and completing your coursework requires access to a desktop or laptop computer and Internet access. IUPUI provides 24 hour technical support if you need technical support while doing coursework.

Coding Practicum Information

What is a professional practicum?
The practicum provides professional experience in an approved clinical site under the direction of an HIM faculty member and an onsite clinical instructor. Students also receive didactic and practicum experience in the classroom with emphasis on medical coding and reimbursement systems. Certificate students take the practicum during the last semester of the program.

What is the required length of time I will spend at my practicum site?
A minimum of 8 contact hours is required per semester at the site.

Am I responsible for finding my practicum site or does the Medical Coding Certificate program staff find the site for me?
The instructor works to find clinical sites for all students. Some students have site preferences or community contacts that they would prefer to use.  Students are free to find their own site if they choose, otherwise a site will be assigned.

What documentation is required before I go to my practicum site?
Requirements vary by site.  Some sites may require a physical exam, immunizations, and/or background checks before beginning any phase of the practicum experience.  You may also be required to purchase and furnish a professional liability insurance policy.

Am I permitted to do my practicum experience at my current place of employment?
Yes, students may complete their practicum at their place of employment. However, the student would need to be assigned to a different work area or perform a project other than their normal duties for the practicum.

If I am employed in healthcare as a Coder, do I still have to complete the practicum?
Potentially the practicum could be waived as credit for applicable work experience according to University policy. For more information visit: Office of Undergraduate Admissions

What if I have other questions?
Contact our advisors at soicindy@iupui.edu or 317-278-4636.