Note: The Medical Coding Certificate is currently under review and not accepting new students.
Medical coders are vital members of the Health Information Management (HIM) occupational cluster. The Medical Coding Specialist Certificate Program provides a study of the skills necessary to assess healthcare documentation and determine the appropriate classification of code assignment and sequencing in accordance with the Coding Clinic Guidelines. The codes are used for statistics, research, and reimbursement of services rendered. This program includes courses recommended by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The program curriculum contains a study of Fundamental Applications of HIM, Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Terminology, specific courses on assigning International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9-CM), and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes, as well as a component of clinical practicum. Students may contact the Program Director for program or schedule advisement at 863-297-1010, ext. 6190.
Medical Coding courses are offered in a variety of traditional and non-traditional formats, including online, hybrid, Fastrack (8-week courses), and evening options. Most traditional courses are offered Monday through Thursday in the evenings.
Medical coders are employed by various healthcare organizations such as hospitals, physicians’ offices, clinics, governmental facilities, and insurance companies. Experienced medical coders can work as independent contract coders.
Credentialed medical coders’ salaries are influenced by the type of setting and the experience and difficulty of the work. Entry-level pay for medical coders averages approximately $15.00 per hour in Florida. Experienced medical coders who receive incentive pay and/or do contract work earn salaries averaging $40,000 annually.
Graduates passing the AHIMA certification examination(s) are designated Certified Coding Specialists (CCS and/or CCSP).
The following criteria are required prior to admission to the Medical Coding Specialist Program:
- Prospective students must gain acceptance to Polk State College as credit seeking students, with all required admission documents received by the Registrar’s Office.
- At the time of application and admission to the Medical Coding Specialist Program, students must have an overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 or higher and a grade of C or higher in all prerequisite courses.
- Students must complete the following program prerequisite courses by the August start date:
HSC 1531 Medical Terminology
BSC 1084C Basic Anatomy and Physiology
CGS 1061 Introduction to Computers and Information Systems
- Students must have completed any required college preparatory courses.
- Students must place above REA 0017 and ENC 0025 course levels on the state-mandated college placement test in reading and writing (or complete these courses) prior to taking HSC 1531 Medical Terminology.
- Students must place above REA 0017, ENC 0025 and MAT 0018 course levels on the state-mandated college placement test in reading, writing, and math (or complete these courses) prior to taking BSC 1084C Basic Anatomy and Physiology.
- An application packet for admission to the Medical Coding Specialist Program must be submitted to the Program Director by the application deadline of June 30 for the August class. Applications may be obtained online via the Polk State College website or from the Admissions' Office at any College location only during the application period of June 1-June 30.
- A pre-admission consultation with the HIM Program Director/Clinical Education Program Coordinator or attendance at an HIM Program information session is necessary.
Additional requirements that must be completed after the selection process is finalized, and prior to enrolling in any program courses, include:
- Completion of a comprehensive physical examination.
- Completion of all required immunizations.
- Completion of a drug screening.
- Completion of the national background screening.
The Department of Health Information Management provides information regarding the completion of these additional requirements with the acceptance letter and during program orientation. Applicants with specific conviction histories or positive drug screenings may ultimately not be accepted in the Medical Coding Specialist Certificate Program. Specific conviction histories or positive drug screenings occurring after full admission and matriculation in the program are addressed according to department policy and may include dismissal from the program.