Peer review gives approval to PJC Medical Records Coding Certificate Program
From Staff Reports

Aug. 4, 2006 -- Paris Junior College's Medical Records Coding Certificate Program recently received approval by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), according to Mistie Ford, RHIA, Coordinator and instructor of the program.

This recognition has been given to only three programs throughout the state of Texas, Baylor Health Care System of Dallas, North Harris College in Houston, and now Paris Junior College.

The approval, given following a recent peer review, is awarded for a five-year period.

Medical Records Coding is designed to prepare individuals to function effectively in the information management of the health care industry under the supervision of a medical records supervisor. As part of the information management team, the medical records coding associate will provide evidence for appropriate coding of the patient record to assist in reimbursement via private or governmental means. Graduates are eligible to work in acute care and/or health care provider offices and will be eligible to take the Certificate Examination for Coding Associate to qualify as a Certified Coding Associate (CCA).

According to Marcia Putnam, director of health occupations at PJC, the response of the community and surrounding area has been great since the program began in 2002.

"We have multiple clinical sites for student learning experiences and an advisory board that actively supports our program," Putnam said.

Ten students are currently enrolled, and 17 have graduated with certificates. Eight graduates have been employed by acute care hospitals, one is working in an outpatient clinic, two are in physician offices, one is employed by a rehab facility, and one is working in home health. Two graduates are pursuing further education.

Students interested in the program are urged to take the foundational courses during the fall and spring semesters in order to be ready to enter the program during the Summer II semester.

Fall registration will be held on the Greenville campus on Aug. 16, with registration on the Sulphur Springs campus on Aug. 17. The Paris campus will hold registration on Aug. 23-24. The first day of class is Aug. 28.

For more information, contact Ford at 903-782-0734.

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