header
main photo

Health Information Management

Program Chair

Char Gore, RHIA, CCS
253.566.5082 cgore@tacomacc.edu

Tacoma Community College offers several options for professional career development in Health Information Management: the Health Information Management (HIM) Associate of Applied Science degree, the Medical Reimbursement Specialist certificate, and the Physician Practice Manager certificate. Degree and certificate program entry occurs in fall and spring on a space available basis. There is no formal application process.

The program's structure is progressive, with a choice between two one-year certificates leading directly to our Associate of Applied Science degree in Health Information Management. Students must complete either the Medical Reimbursement Specialist certificate or Physician Practice Manager certificate to progress into the Associate of Applied Science degree program. Students must progress in a predetermined order as noted below. See program chair for specific information regarding which quarters classes are offered.

TCC’s HIM program is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM). Skills students acquire in this program are outlined in the AHIMA Associate Degree Entry-Level Competencies (ELC) for the profession (http://www.cahiim.org).

PROGRAM LEARNING OUTCOMES

Upon successful completion of the AAS degree in Health Information Management students will:

  • Apply the AHIMA Entry Level Competencies (ELC) Domain I: Health Data Management.
  • Apply the AHIMA Entry Level Competencies (ELC) Domain II: Health Statistics, Biomedical Research, and Quality Management.
  • Apply AHIMA Entry Level Competencies (ELC) Domain III: Health Services Organization and Delivery.
  • Apply the AHIMA ELC Domain IV: Information Technology & Systems.
  • Apply the AHIMA ELC Domain V: Organizational Resources.
  • Apply the AHIMA ELC Biomedical Sciences.
  • Apply knowledge-based research techniques.
  • Prepare effective written and oral communication.
  • Use common software applications in the performance of Health Information Technology functions.
  • Apply and promote ethical standards of practice.

NON-ACADEMIC PROGRAM ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

The degree and certificate programs are offered in a full online learning format. Students are required to have 24/7 internet access with reliable computer hardware and software. For more information go to www.tacomacc.edu/onlineclasses/computerrequirements. Students must be familiar with and comfortable using computers. Those who need remedial computer training should take TCC’s CU 100 course (2-credits) prior to program entry. Students are required to use Microsoft Office programs, specifically Word and PowerPoint. Those who are uncomfortable with either of these applications should take CU 102 Word I (2 credits) and/or CU 104 PowerPoint (1 credit) prior to program entry.

Professional Practice Experience internships for the program will require:

  • Criminal and federal fraud background checks
  • Health insurance
  • Immunizations
  • Vehicle insurance (where applicable)
  • 40-80 hours of in-person, on-site clinical visitation

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: PREREQUISITE COURSEWORK FOR ENTRY

All prerequisite courses must be completed with a C or higher.

BIOL& 175

Human Biology w/lab

5

BUS 110

Business Math

5

ENGL& 101

English Composition I

5

DEGREE/CERTIFICATE COMPLETION REQUIREMENTS

Medical Registration & Admissions Specialist

(45-47credits)

TCC’s Medical Registration and Admissions Specialist program prepares students for employment in entry-level positions in a health care office. This certificate leads directly into either the Medical Reimbursement Specialist or Physician Practice Management certificate, which in turn leads to the AAS degree.

This certificate provides students the skills necessary for entry-level employment in a medical/health care office setting with increasing levels of responsibility and employability. Duties may include reception, scheduling appointments, preparing routine correspondence, processing bills, and maintaining health information.

Technical Requirements

HIM 105

Comprehensive Medical Terminology

5

HIM 110

Health Care Delivery Systems

5

HIM 125

Health Data Structure, Content, and Standards

5

MO 110

Medical Office Procedures

5

Distribution Requirements

CU 105

Word I, Excel I

5

BIOL& 175

Human Biology w/Lab

5

BUS 110

Business Math

5

ENGL& 101

English Composition I

5

MATH 085

Introduction to Elementary Algebra

5

Optional Internship

MO 241

Clinical Applications for Medical Office

2

Medical Reimbursement Specialist

(47credits)

The Medical Reimbursement Specialist (MRS) (formerly known as Medical Billing Specialist) certificate may prepare students for employment as medical billers, patient account representatives, medical claims reviews, outpatient coding, and a variety of other medical support positions. Training includes the business and administrative requirements of health care. Successful completers will acquire a general knowledge of the health care field with a focus on understanding and coding medical diagnoses and procedures (ICD-10-CM, CPT, HCPCS) and to bill accurately, ethically, and assertively to optimize provider reimbursement. This program will provide the tools to be a valuable resource to the physician's office, large group practice, ambulatory surgery center, and insurance and managed care providers. Students who complete this certificate can move directly into the 4th quarter of the HIM AAS degree program.

There are two tracks to the Medical Reimbursement Specialist certificate. Students will pick one area of interest.

  • Insurance and Claims - students completing this track will be able to handle all components of claims processing including management of disputed, rejected, and delayed claims. Students completing this track will have the opportunity to sit for the credential exam for the Certified Medical Reimbursement (CMR).
  • Outpatient Coding - students completing this track will be eligible to sit for additional credentials to include Certified Professional Coder (CPT) or Certified Coding Specialist-Physician based (CCS-P).

MRS Core Courses

1st Quarter

Orientation to the HIM Program

CU 103

Excel I

3

HIM 105

Comprehensive Medical Terminology

5

HIM 110

Health Care Delivery Systems

5

HIM 125

Record Standards and Content

5

2nd Quarter

HIM 141

Outpatient Diagnostic Coding

2

HIM 160

Pathology of Disease

5

HIM 216

CPT Coding

5

3rd Quarter

CU 110

Access I

2

HIM 142

Outpatient Reimbursement

4

HIM 195

Legal/Ethics

3

Choose 1 elective (5 credits) from either:

HIM 151

Insurance/Claims Processing

5

or HIM 152

Advanced Outpatient Coding

5

Choose the appropriate clinical based on your elective:

HIM 185

Medical Reimbursement Clinical

3

or HIM 186

Outpatient Coding Clinical

3

Physician Practice Manager

(47 credits)

The Physician Practice Manager (PPM) (formerly known as Medical Office Assistant) certificate may prepare students for employment in entry-level clinical or administrative positions in a physician's office, clinic or other outpatient related health care agency. Duties may include managing the revenue cycle, compliance regulations, human resources, health information, and general business processes. Physician Practice Managers should have a good understanding of:

  • Health care business process, work flow, and reform
  • Fraud, abuse, and corporate compliance
  • Quality in health care
  • Medical office accounting, physician reimbursement, and revenue cycle management
  • Human resource management
  • Marketing and business relationships
  • HIPPA and data security
  • Health IT, EMRs, and health information exchange

After completion of this certificate, students will be eligible to sit for the Certified Physician Practice Manager (CPPM) credential through the American Academy of Professional Coders. Students who complete this certificate can move directly into the 4th quarter of the HIM AAS degree program.

PPM Core Courses

1st Quarter

Orientation to the HIM Program

CU 103

Excel I

3

HIM 105

Comprehensive Medical Terminology

5

HIM 110

Health Care Delivery Systems

5

HIM 125

Record Standards and Content

5

2nd Quarter

HIM 141

Outpatient Diagnostic Coding

2

HIM 160

Pathology of Disease

5

HIM 216

CPT Coding

5

3rd Quarter

CU 110

Access I

2

HIM 142

Outpatient Reimbursement

4

HIM 153

Outpatient Management Procedures

5

HIM 187

Physician Practice Management Clinical

3

HIM 195

Legal/Ethics

3

Associate in Applied Sciences Degree

(45 additional credits = 92 total credits)

Students must complete a certificate in either the Medical Reimbursement Specialist or Physician Practice Manager to progress into the Associate of Applied Science degree program. The HIM AAS degree program provides a combination of medical knowledge and business applications. TCC's program prepares students for employment in hospitals, ambulatory health care facilities, physician practices, skilled nursing facilities, and state or federal health agencies.

Successful graduates of the AS degree in HIM are eligible to write for the national certification exam for Health Information Technicians sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Upon passing this exam, graduates will receive the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential from AHIMA, which are recognized nationally by health care institutions. Prospective students are encouraged to visit the AHIMA careers web site and job map (http://hicareers.com/) to view career opportunities and extensive resources available for the profession.

Degree completion and successfully obtaining the RHIT credential may provide the opportunity to enter a 2+2 Health Information Administration program a the university level and become eligible for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credential from AHIMA. Students who wish to transfer to four-year colleges and universities should work closely with their TCC advisor and contact their transfer institution to determine transfer requirements.

  1. 4th Quarter

HIM 150

Pharmacology

2

HIM 215

Information and Communication Technologies

5

HIM 221

Intermediate ICD-10-CM/PCS Coding

5

HIM 225

Record Content and Standards II

5

  1. 5th Quarter

HIM 210

Inpatient Reimbursement

5

HIM 241

Data Quality and Health Care Statistics

4

HIM 245

Advanced Coding

3

IT 230

Project Management

2

  1. 6th Quarter

HIM 222

Alternate Care Sites

3

HIM 254

HIM Capstone

3

HIM& 255

Professional Practice Experience

3

Choose 1 elective (5 credits) from either:

HIM 151

Insurance/Claims Processing

5

or HIM 152

Advanced Outpatient Coding

 

or HIM 153

Outpatient Management Procedures

 

Additional Certificate Option Available

An e-HIM (electronic-Health Information Management) certificate is also offered in collaboration with TCC’s Networking & Cyber Security program. This 43-44 credit certificate is designed to compliment the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) or Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credential. The certificate program provides information technology skills that allow HIM professionals to participate on health information management IT teams working in electronic development and/or management of health information. For more information visit www.tacomacc.edu/academics/areasofstudy/healthinformationmanagement/e-himcertificateprogram.

 
footer