Medical Coder-Biller Program Paves Way to Jobs, Additional Degrees MDC’s Medical Coder-Biller Program Coordinator Christine Dundas, right, works with a student at Medical Campus. Miami Dade College’s Medical Coder-Biller certificate program received two thumbs up from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) when it recently was re-approved. The program, training students for the fast-growing medical coding field, has been approved by AHIMA since 2006, and is the only AHIMA Professional Certificate Approval Program (PCAP) in South Florida. AHIMA’s PCAP imprimatur is considered the industry standard for medical record programs that rigorously prepare students for successful careers in the field. “The PCAP-approved coding programs offer a comprehensive curriculum that meets the Coding Certificate Program Competencies, and they have been evaluated for compliance for faculty qualifications and program standards,” said Christine Dundas, MDC’s Medical Coder-Biller program coordinator. “Our certification program covers everything you would need to start a job in the field upon graduation.” Medical coding – which classifies medical conditions, diagnoses and procedures – has been used for statistics for decades. The process was tied into reimbursement functions in the United States in the 1970s. The field has grown as the healthcare industry has expanded, and coding is now used by hospitals, insurance companies and other medical institutions for a wide array of functions. MDC’s certificate program is longer in duration than some other programs, but offers distinct advantages. “The PCAP standards are based on what employers say they need in an entry-level employee,” Dundas said. “We adhere to that to make sure our students are ready.” Students in the program at Miami Dade College have about a 95 percent pass rate for national credentialing exams, and very high job placement rates as well. Besides the coding certification, students who complete the program can apply the 23 credits earned toward the requirements for an associate degree in Health Information Technology at MDC, stacking up their academic experience for additional degrees, Dundas explained. “It makes it possible for students who want a degree to complete the coding program, go into a good-paying job, and then continue making progress toward an associate or bachelor’s degree at their own pace.”
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