Health Information Technology
Frequently Asked Questions

What skills do I need?

  • Health Information Technologists/Medical Coding specialists must be able to:
    • Demonstrate accuracy and attention to detail
    • Understand technical reading material
    • Work at computer monitors for prolonged periods
    • Communicate effectively in English

What are the requirements for admission into the Health Information Technology and Medical Coding programs?

  • You must complete the testing requirement
  • Complete the prerequisites
  • Documentation of program required immunizations

What assessments do I have to take for Health Information Technology/Medical Coding programs?

  • Students must have one of the following:
    • Passing scores on a placement test for Reading, Writing, and Math.
    • Complete or Exempt status on the Reading, Writing, and Math portions of the TSI requirement
  • Visit a campus advisor to determine status.

I am a Continuing Education student. Do I still have to take an assessment test?

  • Yes, all applicants must have one of the following:
    • Passing scores on a placement test for Reading, Writing, and Math
    • Complete or Exempt status on the Reading, Writing, and Math portions of the TSI requiremet
  • Visit a campus advisor to determine status.

What are the prerequisites before I can sign up for the Health Information Technology degree or Medical Coding certificate classes?

  • A student must complete Essentials of Medical Terminology (1-hour class) [Note: this is effective for Fall 2015--prior completion of HITT 1305 will also be accepted], Anatomy and Physiology, and Health Data Content and Structure for admission into the Medical Coding Certificate Program
  • A student must complete Essentials of Medical Terminology (1-hour class), [Note: this is effective for Fall 2015--prior completion of HITT 1305 will also be accepted], Anatomy and Physiology, and Health Data Content and Structure, and BCIS Business Computer Applications for admission into the Health Information Technology AAS Degree program.
  • Application review begins on June 1st each year for admission during the following Fall semester. Admission is conditional on successful completion of each prerequisite course and Criminal Background Check.

Are there any challenge exams for any of the courses?

  • Yes. There is one class you may challenge:
    • HITT 1301 Health Data Content and Structure

How many classes are in the program?

  • There are 25 classes in the Health Information Technology Associate Degree program and 10 classes in the Medical Coding certificate program.

Can I take continuing education or credit classes?

  • Yes, the Medical Coding Certificate can be completed through Continuing Education.

I have taken classes under continuing education, how long do I have to convert these classes to credit?

  • You have two years from the time you finish your class.

Where do I go to get this done?

  • Go to Highland Business Center on the 4th floor Continuing Education department to get this converted.

Why are class sizes so small for Health Information Technology and for Medical Coding?

  • Due to limited clinical sites.

What are challenge exams?

  • Challenge exams afford students the opportunity to take the final exam for a course without having to attend class; an A or B is required to pass. There is a $10 per credit-hour fee for challenge exams.
  • There is one HITT class you may challenge:
    • HITT 1301 Health Data Content and Structure

What can I expect to earn?

  • Salaries for graduates of ACC's Health Information Technology and the Medical Coding program may earn between $22,000 and $35,000 a year depending on education and/or experience.

Is there a deadline for taking challenge exams?

  • Yes, you must complete any challenge exams by May 1st if you intend to enroll in Fall semester of that year.

Can I find my own clinical site?

  • No. The ACC faculty schedules the clinicals and there are various rules and regulations that we must follow. ACC faculty must have an affiliation agreement with the facility prior to going to the clinical affiliation.

How many hours are required in the clinical?

  • The first clinical is 96 hours, the second clinical is 96 hours and the third clinical is 192 hours in their appropriate semesters. The clinicals are done two days per week at a clinical site and one day per week internally (in lab, online or via Blackboard) during the Fall and Spring semesters and three days per week at a clinical site and one day per week internally in the Summer..

Is the clinical during the day?

  • Yes. Clinicals are held during daytime hours, Monday through Friday for 8 hours a day. They are not held on weekends, evenings, or holidays. The AAS has 3 clinical courses. The Medical Coding Certificate has 1 clinical course.

What is credentialing?

  • A process by which a non-governmental agency or association recognizes the competence of individuals who have met certain qualifications as determined by agency or association. To achieve certification from the American Health Information Management Association, individuals must meet the eligibility requirements for certification and successfully complete the credentialing examination.

Why become credentialed?

  • Credentiling is important because it:
    • Demonstrates to colleagues and superiors a dedication to the healthcare field.
    • Sets a person apart from non-credentialed job candidates.
    • Sets the individual as a professional that strives to achieve excellence.
    • Adds recognition to a candidate's capability while ensuring expertise.

Where do I become credentialed?

The following organizations provide credentialing for Medical Coders and Health Information Technicians. There are other organizations as well that offer specialty credentials.

  • American Health Information Management Association (www.ahima.org)
  • Radiology Coding Certification Board (www.rccb.org)
  • American Association of Professional Coders (www.aapc.com)

What are the credentials?

  • The following certifications are currently offered by AHIMA. If you are interested in taking a certification exam, please visit this website for more information on the following:
    • CCA Certified Coding Associate
    • CCS Certified Coding Specialist
    • CCS-P Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-based
    • CHP Certified in Healthcare Privacy
    • CHS Certified in Healthcare Security
    • CHPS Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security
    • RHIA Registered Health Information Administrator
    • RHIT Registered Health Information Technician

 

When do I need to apply for Graduation?

  • Please refer to this page http://www.austincc.edu/degrees-and-certificates/earn-a-degree-and-transfer/commencement-graduation-ceremony for all graduation information.

When is a background check completed?

  • A background check is conducted at the request of the Health Sciences program. ACC has contracted with an outside agency to perform the screenings. Health Sciences program applicants are charged a nonrefundable fee to cover the cost of the screening.

What backgrounds result in ineligibility?

  • Please refer to the complete list on the Health Sciences homepage for ineligibility information here.

Why should something that may have happened 20 years ago affect a student’s eligibility for a Health Sciences program?

  • Clinical agencies are required to protect the safety of patients in their facilities. Students who wish to pursue a Health Sciences education have the option to appeal their ineligibility to the appropriate licensing/credentialing organizations by way of a declaratory order process.