SouthArk offers a one-year (3-semester) technical certificate in medical coding plus students will also earn a certificate of proficiency (CP) upon successful completion of all of the first semester courses in the FT pathway (17 credit hours). There is both a part-time and a full-time pathway for students. Employment in the medical coding field usually requires completion of the full program and earning of a technical certificate. The program begins in the fall semester. Application to the program is not required. The program has open enrollment until filled.
The Medical Coding program, which is almost totally online, with the exception of the Practicum component of the final course, will prepare individuals for diagnostic and procedural coding positions in hospitals, physician offices and clinics, long-term care facilities, insurance companies, home care agencies, managed care organizations, and surgical centers. The program prepares the graduates for various certification exams that are applicable in this career field. The program consists of online instruction, online simulated instruction, and practicum experiences in clinic and hospital settings.
The Practicum and Certification Preparation course (HCIT 2774) in the final semester (summer), consists of online certification exam preparation and a minimum of 80 hours of practicum (clinical) time in an assigned/approved clinic, hospital setting, and/or online simulation. Each student selects and contacts potential clinical sites in the region near their area of residence and collaborates with the program director to arrange a possible affiliation agreement/contract.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Since there is no guarantee that a student's chosen facility will agree to allow the student to perform his/her practicum/clinical hours in their facility, students may have to travel to complete the required practicum/clinical hours. Therefore, students must be prepared to travel and must provide his/her own transportation to an assigned/approved facility outside of his/her local/regional vicinity if deemed necessary.
Students must successfully complete each required program course in a semester with a grade of ‘C’ or higher to be eligible to progress to the next level of the program and ALL courses in the program MUST be completed with a minimum grade of “C.”
After successfully completing the medical coding TC program, students are eligible to register for and take a certified coding exam such as, but not limited to, the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) or the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam with the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).
Disclosure Statement for Vaccinations, Immunizations, and/or Testing/Screening Required by Clinical, Practicum, Fieldwork and/or Internship/Externship Sites
Students currently in, entering into, or applying for entry into any health science program at South Arkansas Community College must understand that:
- Successful completion of the clinical, practicum, fieldwork, and/or internship/externship program component is a requirement for graduation from these programs;
- Clinical, practicum, fieldwork, and/or internship/externship sites require students to have received certain vaccinations, immunizations, possibly including the Covid-19 vaccination, and to have successfully passed testing/screenings such as a drug screen and a criminal background check, in order to be allowed to attend clinical, etc., in their facility.
- Some facilities do not allow students to attend clinical, etc., in their facility until after the student has fully completed the Covid-19 vaccination doses recommended by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
- Therefore, if the student has not received or completed the vaccinations and immunizations, including a complete Covid-19 vaccination (if applicable), and successfully passed testing/screenings that are required by the clinical, practicum, fieldwork, and/or internship/externship site(s) and has not yet successfully completed these required program components, the student will not graduate from the program.
- Successful graduation from the applicable health science program is required in order to sit for the profession’s licensure, certification, registration, etc., examination.
- The program graduate will not be able to work in the applicable health science profession if he/she is not licensed, certified, registered, etc., in the profession.