Associate of Applied Science Degree

Certificate of Completion - Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attend this program can be found on the following https://dacc.nmsu.edu/gainfulemployment/.

Health Information Technicians are counted among the many highly qualified health professionals necessary to meet the growing needs of the healthcare industry. One of the things that sets this field apart is that there is little or no direct contact with patients.

The following are a sampling of the duties health information technicians typically perform:

  • Analyzing and evaluating health records that comply with health information standards and regulations;
  • Compiling various types of administrative and health statistics for research and public policy planning and assessment;
  • Coding symptoms, diseases, operations, procedures, and other therapies for maximum reimbursement;
  • Ensuring that health information is complete and available to legitimate users while protecting patient privacy and maintaining information security; and
  • Maintaining and utilizing a variety of health record indexes and storage and retrieval systems.

DACC offers a rigorous course of study to prepare graduates for employment as health information technicians. It includes medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, health data requirements and standards, classification and coding systems, healthcare reimbursement methods, healthcare statistics, computer literacy, professional practice skills, and life skills such as critical analytical thinking, problem solving, and good study habits.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will have numerous options. Job prospects for HIT professionals are very good because their skills are necessary throughout the entire healthcare industry. Typical work settings are physician practices, hospitals, managed care organizations, long-term care facilities, behavioral health facilities, ambulatory care facilities, rehabilitation centers, home healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, consulting and law firms, skilled nursing facilities, and federal and state governmental agencies. Current salary ranges and the job outlook for this field can be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook at the U.S. Department of Labor website: bls.gov

Graduates of the Health Information Technology program are eligible to apply to take several different certification examinations, which include those offered by the following professional organizations (among others):

  • American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) – Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Professional Coder–Hospital Based (CPC-H), and Certified Professional Coder–Payer (CCP-P)
  • American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) – Certified Coding Associate (CCA), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), and Certified Coding Specialist–Physician Based (CCS-P)

To graduate from the HIT program, students must complete an internship work-experience component. Because this work takes place in a health-care setting, the employer/site may require students to complete and pass a security background check. Past criminal violations could prevent a student from completing the degree or from obtaining employment in the field.

HIT 110. Electronic Health Records

3 Credits

Current electronic health record principles, methods and procedures, and computerized medical record concepts and software applications will be introduced. Restricted to: Community Colleges only.

Prerequisite(s): C S 110 or OECS 105.

HIT 120. Health Information Introduction to Pharmacology

3 Credits

Introduction to the principles of pharmacology, including drug terminology; drug origins, forms, and actions; routes of administration; as well as the use of generic name drugs, trade name drugs and categories of drugs to treat multiple and specific body systems.

HIT 130. Health Information Technology Anatomy & Physiology

3 Credits

An introductory course in the basics of human structure and function. Body systems are examined as to how they relate to proper code selection and as part of the functioning of the body as a whole. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.

HIT 140. Health Information Introduction to Pathophysiology

3 Credits

Introduction to the nature of disease and its effect on body systems. Disease processes affecting the human body via an integrated approach to specific disease entities will be presented including a review of normal functions of the appropriate body systems. Diseases will be studied in relation to their etiology, pathology, physical signs and symptoms, diagnostic procedures, complications, treatment modalities and prognosis.

HIT 150. Introduction to Medical Terminology

3 Credits

The study and understanding of medical terminology as it relates to diseases, their causes and effects, and the terminology used in various medical specialties. Emphasis will be placed on learning the basic elements of medical words, appropriate spelling and use of medical terms, and use of medical abbreviations. Restricted to: Community Colleges only.

HIT 158. Advanced Medical Terminology

3 Credits

Builds upon the concepts covered in HIT 150 or AHS 120 providing greater understanding of how to properly use and apply medical terminology used in the various health fields. Medical terminology associated with the body system's anatomy and physiology, pathology, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, pharmacology, and abbreviations will be emphasized. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.

Prerequisite(s): HIT 150 or AHS 120.

HIT 221. Internship I

1-3 Credits (1-3)

Work experience that directly relates to a student's major field of study that provides the student an opportunity to explore career paths and apply knowledge and theory learned in the classroom. Internships may be paid or unpaid. Students are supervised/evaluated by both the employer and the instructor. May be repeated up to 6 credits. Consent of Instructor required. Restricted to: HIT & BOT majors. S/U Grading (S/U, Audit). Restricted to Dona Ana campus only.

HIT 228. Medical Insurance Billing

3 Credits

Comprehensive overview of the insurance specialist's roll and responsibilities. Concepts and applications that will assist the student in understanding the steps necessary for successfully completing the insurance claim filing and reimbursement processes for various insurance carriers, both private and government, will be emphasized. Restricted to Carlsbad campus only.

Prerequisite(s): HIT/NURS 150; BOT 208.

HIT 240. Health Information Quality Management

3 Credits

Introduction to basic concepts of quality improvement and performance improvement as they apply to health record systems and the health care industry. Quality assessment and improvement standards and requirements of licensing, accrediting fiscal and other regulatory agencies will be presented.

HIT 248. Medical Coding I

3 Credits (2+2P)

Comprehensive overview of the fundamentals, coding conventions, and principles of selecting the most appropriate ICD-10-CM/PCS diagnostic and procedure codes. The most recent version of ICD-10-CM/PCS and an in depth study of current Official Coding Guidelines for coding and reporting will be emphasized. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.

Prerequisite(s): BOT 228.

HIT 255. SPECIAL TOPICS

3 Credits

Specific topics to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. May be repeated up to 6 credits. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.

HIT 258. Medical Coding II

3 Credits (2+2P)

Continuation of Medical Coding I. Comprehensive overview of the coding and reporting guidelines, fundamentals, coding conventions, and principles of selecting the most appropriate CPT and HCPCS procedural codes for all medical specialties. The most recent version of CPT and a continued study of the ICD-10-CM/PCS coding conventions and principles will be emphasized. Designed as a medical coding capstone course. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.

Prerequisite(s): HIT 248.

HIT 268. Health Information Systems

3 Credits

Overview of health data management, work planning, and organization principles; an introduction to health care information systems; and review of the fundamentals of information systems for managerial, clinical support, and information systems.

Name: Diane Prince, Department Chair

Office Location: DAEM 100B

Phone: (575) 527-7577

Email:  dprince@dacc.nmsu.edu

Website: https://dacc.nmsu.edu/hit/