Medical Coder Information Session

​​​​Before you go any further, you will need the Information Packet. This session is meant to be reviewed in coordination with the information packet for the program. If you have not print​​ed or do not have the packet open in another window on your computer, please stop and have that information in hand before continuing. Click here to download the information packet.

What is Medical Coding?

  • Every time a patient receives professional health care as a hospital inpatient or outpatient, in a physician’s office or ambulatory surgical center, the provider must document the condition treated and the services provided.
  • Each medical diagnosis, procedure, medical service and equipment has to be translated into codes for the purpose of documenting medical records and accurate medical billing.
  • Medical coding is the process of translating the description of diseases, procedures, medical services, and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes. The three main code sets are ICD, CPT and HCPCS.
  • To better understand this profession, read the article “What is Medical Coding?” (Source: American Academy of Professional Coders)

What Does a Medical Coder Do?

  • Uses his or her knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and diseases to assign a diagnostic or procedural code to entries in a patient’s medical record.
  • Reviews medical documentation to assign these codes and ensure the physician practices and hospitals get reimbursed from insurance companies.
  • Communicates with other healthcare personnel to clarify diagnoses or obtain additional information.
  • Enables insurance companies to account for the money they reimburse to physicians and practices, to help prevent fraudulent medical claims or errors in payment.

Why is this a Good Career Choice?

  • Health care reform and an aging population play a large role in the growth of all medical-related jobs.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical records and health technicians is projected to grow 8 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations
  • Coding credentials are proof of a robust education and an ongoing commitment to staying relevant in a complex and evolving industry. According to the 2019 AHIMA US Salary Survey, HIM professionals who held the CCA credential reported an average salary of $53,790. See the entire AHIMA 2019 Salary Survey here.

Potential Employers

  • Hospital
  • Family practice
  • Specialist’s practice
  • Primary healthcare organization
  • Long-term care home or extended care home
  • ​Surgical center

  • Medical insurance company​

Entry-level Position Titles

Certified Medical Coder

Medical Coding Specialist

Medical Coding Associate

Medical Records Coding Specialist

Medical Coder


Certifications

  • Two professional organizations, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) offer nationally recognized medical coding certification exams.
  • Successful completion of this Medical Coder Certificate program provides a foundation for students to prepare and take the following certification exams:
  • Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam administered by AHIMA
  • Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) exam administered by AHIMA
  • Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam administered by AAPC

    Admission Criteria

    (Refer to Information Packet for more details)

    • A high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate.
    • Complete the Dallas College Application for Admission.
    • Establish financial resources.
    • Complete this mandatory online information session.
    • While no assessment testing is required for this level I certificate (TSI waived), it is recommended you demonstrate at least a 12th grade reading level.
    • Successfully complete the following prerequisites with a “C” or better to move to Semester I of the program
      • POFI 1301 Computer Applications I
      • MDCA 1313 Medical Terminology
      • MDCA 1409 Anatomy and Physiology for Medical Assistants
    • Students pursuing the Medical Coder Program who are either new to the college experience and/or need assistance with registration for prerequisite courses, should consult an academic advisor. Contact: Chad Price, Senior Academic Advisor, ceprice@dcccd.edu, 972-860-4923, Advising Center, Building S, Room S106.

    Curriculum​

    (Refer to Information Packet for sequence of courses)

    • The Medical Coder Program is a college credit certificate program consisting of a total of 32 college credit hours provided in three semesters along with the prerequisite courses.
    • Courses are scheduled in a particular sequence for a reason. Knowledge, skills, and attitudes are developed throughout each course and they build upon each other, moving from the simple to the complex. (refer to information packet for program sequence)
    • Advisors will check your academic records for the courses for which you have registered, and you will be dropped from any class that you have enrolled in prior to meeting the above requirements and course prerequisites.

    Tuition and Learning Materials

    • Dallas County Resident = $79 per credit hour
    • Out-of-County Resident = $135 per credit hour
    • Tuition/ learning materials and other fees are approximate and are subject to change.

    Prerequisites, Semeste​rs I, II & III​

    Dallas County Resident

    Out-of-County Resident

    Estimated cost (tuition/learning materials) ​

     $2,528

    $4,320

    Financial Aid

    Determine financial needs. See financial aid counselor for questions, if needed. Apply early for the next semester! Early application assures availability of funds, if qualified, and allows the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office to prepare a realistic financial aid package

    Financial aid information may be obtained by visiting the Financial ​Aid page of the Dallas College catalog. Additionally, email questions to FinancialAid@dcccd.edu. Following application submittal, allow an 8-to-10-week period for processing.

    NOTE: Program guidelines are subject to change. Students are advised to obtain the latest program information packet by visiting the Dallas College program website or contacting the program coordinator and/or advisor.

    Questions​

    Thank you for viewing our online information session. You will now be directed to complete a questionnaire​ over the information provided. An email will be sent to you as well as our staff once you have completed the questionnaire. Please retain this email for your records and verification that you have watched the information session. We wish you the best!

    If you would like to speak with an academic advisor for online advising or to help you register for classes, please contact:  Chad Price, ceprice@dcccd.edu Senior Academic Advisor, Advising Center, Building S. Brookhaven Campus. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Medical Coder Certificate program, please send an email with your full name and seven-digit student ID# to Sheila Baker at sbaker@dcccd.edu