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Medical Records Course Descriptions and Training Information

Health information technicians need to know how to create, store, code and classify medical records. Educational programs designed to train future technicians often culminate in a certificate or associate degree and cover not only medical records coding, but also topics like medical office procedures, accounting, customer service, productivity software and pharmacology. Read on to see what these courses entail.

Essential Information

Health information technology, medical office administration and medical records coding programs typically offer medical records courses. Some common coursework in such programs covers medical terminology, records coding and classification, insurance and billing procedures, medical records fundamentals and information technology. Many certificate and associate's degree programs require a practicum or internship.

Graduates may be able to pursue an industry certification, such as the numerous coding and health information technology certifications that the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offer. Here are some of the topics you can find in medical records courses:

  • HIPAA
  • Medicaid and Medicare
  • Appointment schedules
  • Workers compensation
  • Ethics
  • Patient charts

List of Courses

Medical Records Fundamentals

In this class, students learn how to properly create and store medical files. This serves as a foundation for subsequent coursework in a medical records certificate or degree program. Paper and electronic records are discussed. Students also explore principles of information management like records retention and disposition.

This course is usually taken early in a medical records program and includes learning professional standards in filing, doctor-patient confidentiality and ethical behavior. State and federal laws related to the collection, retention and sharing of patient data are analyzed.

Medical Terminology

It's essential that medical records professionals understand the anatomical, physiological and pathological terms used in patient files and related records. Coursework helps students to master proper spelling and pronunciation. This is usually a required class taken early in a medical records program.

Information Technology

This typically required class introduces students to common technologies used in the workplace. In addition to lectures, hands-on learning opportunities allow students to practice creating, updating, storing and accessing medical records like patient charts, appointment schedules and test results.

Coding and Classification of Records

The practical application of coding and classification for billing and insurance reimbursement is the focus of this course. Lessons cover codes and classifications for medical procedures and medical diagnoses and guidelines for use in medical records. Students also learn HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) guidelines and how they relate to the preparation of medical records.

Insurance and Billing Procedures

Students in this required class are introduced to common health insurance company requirements for handling claims and typical office billing procedures. Students practice processing Medicare, Medicaid and workers compensation claims for outpatient and in patient treatment. Most classes also include lessons on legal and ethical aspects of working with medical records within the context of insurance and billing processes.

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