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FAQs - Health Information Technology

What are the requirements for admission into the Broward College HIT Program and where do I send my application?
Eligibility
Program eligibility requires:
 
  • HS Diploma or GED
  • Completed all Health Science Program Requirements
  • Completed pre-Health Science Core requirements
  • Completed prerequisite courses with a 2.5 GPA or better

 

How to Apply
 
Admission to the program requires submission of:
 
  • A Broward College application and $35 application fee
  • Submission of a Health Science Program Application
  • All official high school, GED, college and university transcripts
Official copies of SAT or ACT scores for placement or take the Florida College Entry level Placement Test at any Broward College campus. For more detailed admissions information, visit the Health Sciences Admissions page.
What does it mean to have a RHIT and/or a CCA credentials?
Professionals holding the RHIT credential are health information technicians who ensure the quality of medical records by verifying their completeness, accuracy, and proper entry into computer systems. They may also use computer applications to assemble and analyze patient data to improve patient care or control costs. RHITs often specialize in coding diagnoses and procedures in patient records for reimbursement and research. With experience, the RHIT credential holds solid potential for advancement to management positions, especially when combined with a bachelor's degree.*
 
The CCA credential distinguishes coders by exhibiting commitment and demonstrating coding competencies across all settings, including both hospitals and physician practices. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a shortage of more than 50,000 qualified HIM and HIT workers by 2015. Becoming a CCA positions you as a leader in an exciting and growing market. CCAs:
·         Exhibit a level of commitment, competency, and professional capability that employers are looking for
·         Demonstrate a commitment to the coding profession
·         Distinguish themselves from non-credentialed coders and those holding credentials from organizations less demanding of the higher level of expertise required to earn AHIMA certification 
(*Source:  AHIMA) 
Are uniforms required?
Uniforms will only be required when attending a Professional Practice Experience site and when scheduled quests are presenting to students.
Do I need to take a licensing examination after I graduate?
HIT professionals are not licensed. Instead, after graduation, you are eligible to take the AHIMA's national credentialing examination for Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and the Clinical Coding Associate (CCA).  You cannot legally or ethically use either of these credentials behind your name unless you have successfully passed the credentialing examinations. 

 

Also be aware, to be eligible to sit for the RHIT Exam (or the RHIA Exam offered by 4 year degree programs) the educational program MUST be accredited by CAHIIM.  Please go to www.ahima.org and www.cahiim.org for credential qualifications and program accreditations.
How many credits is the program?
The HIT Program requires 70 credits for the AS Degree; 15 credit hours of general education courses and 55 credit hours for the core curriculum.
Can I pick and choose the courses that I take?
No, the program is designed to be taken in sequential order to promote skills-building.
When does the program begin?
The program begins once a year in August (fall semester). If you have been accepted to the program and are waiting for the fall semester, you can take courses without the HIM prefix to get a head start on your degree.
Do I have to be accepted into the program to take the HIT courses?
Yes, only students who apply, meet all the requirements and are accepted into the program are allowed to register for HIM courses.
Is there a separate program for just coding and billing?
No, BC elected to discontinue the certification program for medical coding and billing since there are several vocational programs in the area. We also found, that more and more facilities are looking for coding staff that also have the RHIT credentials. The programs were blended. The HIT Program includes courses in ICD, CPT and Reimbursement Methodology. We also teach our students on the 3M coding software.
 
After the required coding classes, the student will be eligible to sit for the coding credentialing exams offered by AHIMA or AAPC.
If I have worked in the health information management department for several years, does any of my work experience count towards my degree?
It’s possible depending on what type of work you’ve been doing. Anyone interested in work experience credits should discuss this with an Advisor and then make arrangements to discuss options with the HIT Program Manager.
What is articulation and what does it mean to me?
BC has articulation agreements with limited educational organizations in the community which allow us to accept the certifications received from that program to be counted (credits awarded) towards your degree at BC. We currently have agreements with Sheridan and Atlantic Tech Vocational Centers for their students graduating from the Medical Transcription and the Medical Coder/Billing Certification Programs.
 
 If you have graduated from either program within the past  three years, please be sure to inform the Health Science Admissions Department and/or your Advisor when discussing your HITM Program application. This option could shorten the time and the number of credits it takes for you to complete the A.S. degree HITM Program at BC.
If I decide I want to get my bachelor’s degree in health information management, are my courses at BC transferable?
Yes, BC is an accredited college and therefore credits will transfer. You’ll need to review your course work with the admission’s department of the four-year college you’re considering. To find out where the RHIA programs are located within the state or the country, access AHIMA or CAHIIM for approved programs in the area you desire.  At this time, University of Central Florida in Orlando and Florida A&M University in Tallahassee are the only two public universities in Florida with a bachelor’s program in Health Information Management  (see www.cahiim.org for more information on these programs).

 

You may also want to consult with an advisor before starting the program if your future plans include transferring to a four-year college.  You may want to select any general education electives based on the bachelor’s degree that you are interested in, such as what type of college math will your four-year college require. 
Is there financial aid available?
The Student Financial Services office, located on each campus, offers financial counseling to you and may be able to provide needed funds.  Sponsorship opportunities are also available. If you currently work in a healthcare setting, inquire about tuition assistance from your Human Resource department.
 
You can also review scholarships that may be offered through AHIMA, FHIMA and location HIMA regional groups.   
What type of degree do I receive?
Upon successful completion of the two year program in Health Information Technology, you will be awarded an Associate of Science degree.
When are classes held?
The program is primarily during the day.  Some courses may be held on Saturday.  The Professional Practice Experiences are held during the normal work hours of the host facility.
Is the program fully online?
No, the program is not fully online.  More than 50 percent of the courses are online, blended or web enhanced at this time, but we are working to increase the number of courses that are offered online or blended each year.
Is there job placement available after graduation?
Unfortunately, we do not provide formal job placement. However, Broward College’s Career Center is a great resource for finding a job, writing a resume and cover letter and learning interviewing techniques.
Can I start the program at any time?
No, we only open the program August of each year.
Is the RHIT credential examination required?
No, but it’s strongly recommended that you either take the RHIT or at least the CCA credentialing exam.  Statistically, graduates who have their credentials are more likely to find employment.  You should also plan to take your exam within 90 to 120 days post-graduation.  AHIMA will allow early testing; see the Program Manager for specific details.
What if I have lots of experience working in the health information management field or I currently hold an active coding credential, can I get credits?
Very possibly. Contact the Program Manager to see if you can qualify for experiential learning credits. 
How much does the program cost for the two years?
The estimated cost for the two-year program is approximately $8,500.00 (tuition, fees and textbooks) but this estimate is subject to change based on changes in tuition, fees and textbooks.
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