Healthcare Quality: Coding and Reimbursement Concentration

Healthcare Quality: Coding and Reimbursement

Admission Requirements Curriculum Technical Standards Brochure (pdf)

This concentration is designed to prepare students for entry level practice as a medical coder. Medical coders are specialized professionals who utilize classification systems to help determine the proper diagnosis and procedure codes and utilize computer software to assign one of several hundred “diagnosis-related groups,” or DRGs. The DRG determines the amount for which the hospital will be reimbursed if the patient is covered by Medicare or other insurance programs using the DRG system. In addition to the DRG system, coders use other coding classification systems, such as those geared toward ambulatory settings or long-term care. The data abstracted by the coder is also utilized in analysis and development of quality healthcare initiatives and national health policy. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that medical coders should see a 22% increase in job opportunities between now and 2022. The majority of employment opportunities will be in hospitals, doctors’ offices and outpatient care centers. The U.S. Department of Labor notes that employers favor those who have completed formal training and certification. Those who obtain certification may expect greater salary compensation. While non-certified medical coders can expect to earn an average of $30,709, those who pass the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) exam can earn over $50,000 annually.

Acceptance into this concentration is required prior to enrollment. Applications are not currently being accepted for this concentration.