Associate Degree:Program Admission Process
Requests for additional information about the Health Information Management Program should be directed to:
Jan Hunt-Shepherd, MHA, RHIA, CCS, CDIP, CPHQ
Health Information Management
Academic Complex, Office 413, 1906 College Heights Blvd.
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Admission to the College of Health and Human Services or University does not guarantee admission to the program. Acceptance into the HIM programs is based on a selective admission process and is based on space available. Applicants are considered on a competitive basis. There are no restrictions regarding age, sex, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or marital status.
Health Information Programs at WKU
Health information management (HIM) is a diverse yet evolving field that incorporates medicine, management, finance, information technology, and law into one dynamic career path. At WKU there are two programs in Health Information Management: the Associate Degree and the Baccalaureate Degree. The Baccalaureate Degree can be completed online. At this time, while most courses in the Associate Degree can be completed online, there are some courses that cannot be completed online. See below for more information on both programs.
Health Information Management Associate Degree
The health information technician is the professional responsible for maintaining components of health information systems consistent with the medical, administrative, ethical, legal, accreditation, and regulatory requirement of the health care delivery system. In all types of facilities, and in various locations within a facility, the health information technician possesses the technical knowledge and skills necessary to process, maintain, compile, and report health information data for reimbursement, facility planning, marketing, risk management, utilization management, quality management and research, abstract and code clinical data using appropriate classification system, and analyze health records according to standards. The health information technician may be responsible for functional supervision of the various components of the health information system.
The Associate Degree Health Information Management Program at Western Kentucky University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (www.cahiim.org)
Graduate Outcomes Data: Graduate HIM Program Satisfaction Rates-100% (Based on results of CAHIIM mandated surveys conducted in 2015.)*
*Compliance with 2012 CAHIIM Standard for Accreditation VI.30
Graduates of the associate degree program are eligible to take the American Health Information Association examination to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). Graduates are also eligible to take the following AHIMA coding examinations: Certified Coding Associate (CCA), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), and Certified Coding Specialist- Physician-based (CCS-P). Graduates may also take the following examinations offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders: Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Professional Coder- Outpatient Hospital (CPC-H), and Certified Professional Coder- Payer (CPC-P).
The majority of Registered Health Information Technicians (RHITs) are employed in health information departments in a variety of settings. With expanding uses of healthcare information, RHITs are finding opportunities for employment in hospitals, industrial clinics, state and federal health agencies, private industry, long term and mental health care facilities. Visit AHIMA's Career Map for additional information on job titles, descriptions, salaries, and career pathways.
Health Information Management Baccalaureate Degree
Health information management (HIM) is a diverse yet evolving field that incorporates medicine, management, finance, information technology, and law into one dynamic career path. The major in health information management is designed to prepare students with skills and competencies in health data management, data analytics and informatics, information governance, privacy and security, compliance, clinical documentation improvement, revenue cycle management, medical coding, administering health information technology and administrative and clinical work flow.
The Baccalaureate Degree Health Information Management Program at Western Kentucky University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (www.cahiim.org) Graduate Outcomes Data: Employer B.S. HIM Program Satisfaction Rates-100% (Based on results of CAHIIM mandated surveys conducted in 2015.)*
*Compliance with 2012 CAHIIM Standard for Accreditation VI.30
Job opportunities for baccalaureate degree graduates exist in multiple settings throughout the healthcare industry. These organizations include hospitals, multi-specialty clinics and physician practices, long-term care, mental health, and other ambulatory care settings. The profession has seen significant expansion in non-patient care settings, with careers in managed care and insurance companies, software vendors, consulting services, government agencies, education, and pharmaceutical companies. Jobs may include medical coder or biller, data analyst, revenue cycle analyst, clinical documentation improvement specialist, tumor registrar, office manager, HIM director, and many more. Visit AHIMA's Career Map for additional information on job titles, descriptions, salaries, and career pathways.
Since acceptance of transfer credit for a particular major is subject to approval by the appropriate academic department, the HIM program director is responsible for the determination of transfer credit of HIM courses. Any HIM course considered for transfer credit must have been completed through a CAHIIM accredited program. The student will be required to provide a description and syllabus for each course; the transferring institution may be contacted for additional information. Credit may be given for each approved equivalent course as long as the University minimum residence requirement for the baccalaureate degree is maintained. Courses taken in HIM from a non-approved CAHIIM program will not be accepted, but students may take departmental exams for credit for the corresponding HIM course. See transfer link for additional information.
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