The Medical Coding Specialist program prepares students for the rapidly expanding field of medical coding and focuses on developing an understanding of the language of medicine and the ability to apply it to professional coding standards. Instruction concentrates on the areas of anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, pharmacology, laboratory medicine, medical finance, and coding. Coders are required to abstract medical documentation from a patient's chart and correlate the diagnosis and procedures performed into numerical code numbers. This is done in all healthcare facilities. The college utilizes state of the art computer applications in the medical coding program. The student gains knowledge and practice in computer software programs such as encoders and electronic medical records systems, which allows students to have real world, hands-on application of medical practice.
Alexandria Technical & Community College's Medical Coding Specialist program is recognized by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). The Medical Coding Specialist program is also offered online.
Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to challenge the NHA, National Certification Exam. With some experience, they become eligible for additional national certification examinations through AHIMA or the American Academy of Professional Coders. A prerequisite to this program is Introduction to Computer or equivalent experience.
Individuals interested in the Medical Coding Specialist program should possess a strong interest in the health care industry. In addition, successful students are self-sufficient, hold strong organizational skills, and practice efficient time management. Previous courses of study that would be helpful include general business courses, biological sciences, chemistry, and health.