Major employers may include:
Behavioral health facilities
Home care providers
Managed care organizations
Long term care facilities
Curriculum & Degree Plan
Health Information Technology
For a full list of Degree Plans “Click Here!”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Registered Health Information Technician and is it accepted nationwide?
A: A qualified applicant, that has met AHIMA’s educational requirements from a CAHIIM accredited program, may take the national credentialing exam to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). The RHIT credential is a national certification recognized in all 50 states, as well as many international countries. For more information on the opportunities in this field, you can visit www.ahima.org.
Q: What are the pre-reqs?
A: The program has a recommended sequence, but is flexible to meet the needs of the individual student. The student is not required to take pre-requisite courses before applying to the program, but is required to contact the program advisor and complete the application process so a logical course of study can be developed for student success. Some courses may follow a co-requisite or pre-requisite sequence, such as not doing a student internship at the beginning of the program, rather this would come at the end following completion of applicable courses in the program.
Q: Why is the cost at your college so much less than some other proprietary schools?
A: Proprietary schools, or private career colleges, tend to cost more because costs are passed down to the student. Because our college is non-profit, our mission is to provide affordable, accessible and exceptional education that fosters student success. We focus on what is necessary to train the workforce needs, while still keeping our costs down, often by acquiring grant funding when available. Many students find success through obtaining an associate’s degree, and then utilizing additional financial aid funding to continue for an advance degree, if desired. This option can be very difficult for those attending for-profits that utilize funding in excess of the typical financial aid award. Our goal is to offer a high-quality program at an affordable cost.
Q: Are your credits transferable?
A: Yes. Our program offers legitimate credit hours through our accredited college. Unlike many “for-profits” that do not provide appropriate credits to be transferred out to other state colleges and universities, they may also not transfer credit in from other colleges and universities either. Always check with the institution you wish to transfer to regarding what their requirements for transferability is.
Q: What is the Internship requirement?
A: In order to achieve graduation and eligibility to sit for the national exam, you must complete the required hours of clinical work outside of the classroom to prepare you to go into the workforce.
Q: What’s the difference between a RHIT and a RHIA?
A: The RHIT credential requires that the professional meet the required associate’s degree educational requirements from an accredited program and pass the national exam. The RHIA credential requires that the professional meet the required bachelor’s degree educational requirements from an accredited program and pass the national exam. The bachelor’s programs typically require more focus on the managerial scope of practice. We are currently working on articulation agreements at the university level so that our students can easily transition to an advanced degree by getting credit for courses already taken at the associate’s degree level without redoing courses. Depending on the area, some RHITs perform duties very similar to RHIAs.
Q: I have heard of certified coders through AAPC, what’s the difference?
A: The CPC, CPC-H and a few other coding credentials are available through the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC). In addition to the RHIT and RHIA credentials, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) also offers other professional certifications including coding with the CCA, CCS and CCS-P credentials. Medical coding is a specific concentration within the HIM scope of practice and RHIT educational requirements. You can sit for a separate coding credential by meeting the educational requirements and/or experience required for the exam. However, this is not the same as an associate’s degree in health information technology, which has a broader scope of practice.
Q: What does an accredited program mean?
A: CASC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The college must be accredited before the program itself can be. The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) is responsible for granting accreditation to this program, which allows our students to sit for the RHIT national exam with AHIMA. Our program will be in candidacy status, which means we can apply for accreditation once our first cohort of students is nearing graduation.
Q: Why is a degree necessary for filing medical records?
A: The field of health information technology and management have evolved with the high-tech world. The requirements for degrees in the HIM field stem largely from state regulations and facilities needing qualified individuals to meet the consistently changing regulations in healthcare. The aspect of filing paper medical records as the core of responsibility in the “medical records” field is long gone. Qualified HIM professionals help decrease the opportunities of litigation against facilities by keeping the patient’s information confidential, secure and private while providing proof of the integrity of the record. The vast opportunities in the healthcare field can include traditional roles of HIM Director, Coder and Release of Information specialist, to other specialized areas such as Privacy Officer, Health Data Analyst and Chief Knowledge Officer. The vast settings afforded to HIM professionals may include acute care facilities, physician offices and surgery centers, to more non-traditional settings like insurance companies, vendors, long-term care organizations, consulting firms and work-from-home opportunities. The HIM professional is a critical member of the healthcare team more than ever before.
After Carl Albert... In the Workforce
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, medical records and health information technicians generally organize and maintain patients’ medical and billing information. They may also be responsible for helping keep patient information private and confidential, says the Department of Labor. This is one of the few health-related occupations in which there is no direct hands-on care.
Cheryl Lynch Simpson, an Ohio-based job search coach and owner of ExecutiveResumeRescue.com, says that salaries are high for medical records and health information technicians, relative to the amount of education required to pursue the job. This is due to a “perfect storm of a few things – the regulatory environment that surrounds medical information, the fact that Obamacare is going to require different levels of privacy for medical records, and the fact that medical data is being computerized rapidly right now,” she says (http://education.yahoo.net/articles/good-pay_jobs_with_an_associates.htm).
CASC is responding to this need by preparing to provide an accredited AAS Health Information Technology degree, both on-campus and online, for adult and working students’ convenience.
National Data: Information on this career is listed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as “Medical Records and Health Information Technicians.”
1. 2012 Median Pay is $34,160 per year or $16.42 per hour
2. Job outlook is much better than average; a 22% increase is expected from 2012-2022
3. Health Information professionals’ salaries rose 11% from 2006 to 2010
4. About 41,400 more health information technologists will be needed from 2012-2022
1. 2013 Median Pay is $30,500 per year or $14.65 per hour
2. Job outlook is faster than average; a 19% increase is expected from 2012-2022
3. About 170 more health information technologists will be needed from 2012-2022
Professional certification is required by some employers and the degree program at CASC will be designed to prepare students for the certification exam. Certifications include Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), among others. Many coding certifications require coding experience in a work setting. Technicians can advance to a medical or health services manager after completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree program and taking the required certification courses.
The accrediting agency is the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Currently, no health information technology associate degrees are offered in southeastern Oklahoma.
For More Information…
JLynn Smith, M.S., RHIA, RMA, EMT-I
Director for Health Information Technology