The Health Information Coding Specialist Certificate program at Great Falls College MSU is delivered completely online. This is not a self-paced program; institution deadlines are followed.

The Great Falls College MSU coding program is accredited through the  American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The Certified Coding Associate (CCA) distinguishes coders by exhibiting commitment and demonstrating coding competencies across all settings, including both hospitals and physician practices. Based upon job analysis standards and state-of-the-art test construction, the CCA is creating a larger pool of qualified coders ready to meet potential employers' needs. The CCA designation has been a nationally accepted standard of achievement in the health information management field since 2002. More than 8,000 people have attained the certification since inception. The CCA is the only HIM credential worldwide currently accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Entry-level coders analyze health records and assign the appropriate code to each diagnosis and procedure according to national and international guidelines. They perform research and rely on their knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, and disease processes to determine the correct codes and sequences.

Coders then use a software program to assign the patient to one of several hundred “diagnosis-related groups (DRGs),” or “ambulatory payment classifications (APCs)”. Other coding systems used by the medical coder are known as encoders. Those who specialize in coding are called health information coders, medical record coders, coder/abstractors, or coding specialists.

Students that complete the Health Information Coding Specialist Certificate can easily transfer into the Health Information Technology two-year degree program at Great Falls College MSU.

The successful completion of the Health Information Coding Specialist Certificate will assist the student in qualifying for the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) credential national exam; sponsored by AHIMA.

Students that achieve the Health Information Coding Specialist Certificate can expect to obtain jobs in inpatient facilities, outpatient clinics, physician offices, or insurance companies as entry-level coders.

For more information on the field of medical coding, click on the associations below: