AS in Health Care Information Technology: Degree Overview

Oct 15, 2019

Associate of Science (AS) in Health Information Technology programs are 2-year courses of study commonly offered at community colleges and technical schools. They provide a basic introduction to the field.

Essential Information

In addition to health care-related courses, students in AS in Health Information Technology programs commonly participate in supervised internships at healthcare facilities in order to obtain hands-on training. Some courses may be available through online study. Applicants must typically have high school diplomas or the GED equivalent for admission.

Associate of Science in Health Information Technology

Besides health care coding systems, health information management and medical terminology, other typical course topics include:

  • Health care reimbursement methodologies
  • Health care law & ethics
  • Pharmacology
  • Classification of diseases
  • Pathophysiology
  • Alternative delivery systems

Popular Career Options

An associate degree in health information technology can prepare its graduates to work on the clerical side of the health care profession in multiple settings. Possible career titles include:

  • Health information technicians
  • Medical records technicians
  • Medical coders
  • Coding specialists

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that medical records and health information technicians would see 11% growth in employment opportunities from 2018-2028. The mean annual wages for these workers were $44,010 in May 2018. The industry with the highest level of employment was general medical and surgical hospitals.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Graduates may join the workforce immediately or pursue further education. Earning bachelor's or master's degrees, along with advanced specialty certifications, may qualify them for positions as health care managers. Relevant degree programs leading to the title of health care manager can include health science, health administration or public health.

An individual who has completed training can earn the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential by passing the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) written examination. Medical coders can also obtain credentials through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), the Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists (PAHCS) and the Board of Medical Specialty Coding & Compliance (BMSC). The BMSC and the PAHCS both offer specialty coding certifications.

Associate's programs in health information technology provide students with the basic medical knowledge and technical office skills they need for entry-level administrative positions in the healthcare field. These programs can also prepare students for voluntary certification as health information technicians, which is typically preferred by employers.

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