A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

Coding Specialist Certificate

CODING SPECIALIST CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

Healthcare facilities need coders for accurately assessing ICD-10-CM/PCS, ICD-9-CM, CPT, and DRG/APC assignments for diagnostic and surgical information. Financial reimbursement is often directly related to these numeric codes. Also, the statistical information generated from the codes is used in research, quality patient care, education, and in administrative decision making.

In acute care facilities, the Coding Specialist usually works in a health information/medical record department and enjoys professional interaction with other medical record practitioners and physicians. In a physician practice setting, the Coding Specialist works closely with physicians in determining diagnoses for optimum
reimbursement.

Coding Specialists are in demand in acute care and ambulatory care facilities, including physician office practice and long-term facilities. A variety of government agencies require coding expertise as well. The need for accurate, skilled coders is high in California and throughout the nation. Regional and national healthcare
organizations regularly notify Loma Linda University of open coding positions, and the Health Information Management department staff regularly forward these notices of employment opportunities to recent graduates

The Coding Specialist Program is a nine-quarter evening program with courses covering healthcare records, confidentiality, ICD-10-CM/PCS, ICD-9-CM, CPT, E & M coding, prospective payment systems, state and federal coding regulations, and coding Practica.

LABORATORY EXPERIENCE

Direct coding practice with health records will be done in the classroom as planned by the instructor. The student will also be exposed to encoders in a computer laboratory environment. Coding Practicum I and II are coding laboratories designed to provide the student the opportunity of coding up to 500 records of inpatient and outpatients from a variety of common diseases and surgical procedures. This laboratory experience will be coordinated by an instructor who will supervise and evaluate the students’ work, answer questions, and provide corrective feedback to the students.

APPLICATION AND ACCEPTANCE

Application to and enrollment in Loma Linda University constitute the student’s commitment to honor and abide by the academic and social practices and regulations stated in announcements, bulletins, handbooks, and other published materials, and to maintain a manner that is mature and compatible with University’s function as
an institution of higher learning.  Loma Linda University was established to provide education in a distinctive Christian environment, and its students are expected to have adopted Christian ethical and moral standards as a basis for their conduct. The University emphasizes the health professions along with the policies of the supporting church.
In selecting students, the Admissions Committee of the School of Allied Health Professions looks for evidence of self-discipline, personal integrity, and intellectual vigor. The committee also looks for evidence that students possess the capabilities required to complete the full
curriculum in the allotted time and to achieve the levels of competence required. Acceptance of the applicant to any curriculum is contingent on the recommendation of the department conducting the program.

PREREQUISITES

● High School Diploma/GED or a college degree
● Anatomy and Physiology
● Medical Terminology (can be taken while in the program)
● Essentials of Human Diseases (Pathophysiology) (can be taken while in the program)
● Introduction to Computer Applications (can be taken while in the program)
All prerequisite coursework must be completed with a grade of C or better and may only be transferred in from a regionally accredited college. The medical courses must cover all of the body systems.
AHCJ 250 Anatomy and Physiology I (5 units, year-round)
AHCJ 251 Anatomy and Physiology II (5 units, year-round)
HLCS 241 Medical Terminology (2 units, year-round, online)
HLCS 238 Essentials of Human Diseases (3 units, Summer quarter)
Grade Requirement: A grade of C or above is required in all prerequisite and program coursework.

Transcripts: It is the applicant’s responsibility to request transcripts from all the institutions they have attended. Transcripts are accepted only when sent directly to the University by another school or college. All transcripts must be received before the application can be forwarded to committee.

HOW TO APPLY

1. Log on to www.llu.edu/apply and fill out the online application. After paying the $60.00 fee, your application will be electronically sent to SAHP Admissions. Applications will not be accepted before January 1st of the year for which you are applying.
2. Request transcripts from both the high school where a diploma was awarded, and from the college/university where your prerequisites were completed. Transcripts must be mailed from the previous institutions directly to Loma Linda University, SAHP Admissions Office, Loma Linda, CA 92350.
3. Once the application, all transcripts, and letters of recommendations have been received, the application is reviewed by the HIIM Department. Upon recommendation from the Department, the folder is forwarded to the SAHP Admissions Committee. The committee’s decision will be forwarded to you in the form of a letter delivered by the US Postal Service. Upon receipt of an acceptance letter, return the card provided to confirm acceptance, along with the required deposit. Deposits are credited to the
student’s account.

SPECIAL COURSE WORK/CREDIT

Requests are made to the SAHP Dean on the Petition to Obtain Credit by Examination form, which may be obtained from our department. There is a fee for the examination. Please ask concerning this, as the cost varies. Waiver/Equivalency Exam: An examination in a given subject may be taken only once. Credit cannot be
earned in this way to make up for a course in which an unsatisfactory grade was received. All examinations must be taken before the last quarter of the program. Please check with the HIM Department for current examination fees.

PROGRAM CURRICULUM

GRADUATION

To be eligible for graduation the students must complete all 30 units in the Coding Specialist program with a grade of C or higher in each course. Although the program is completed in autumn quarter, graduates of the Coding Specialist program are invited to participate in the School of Allied Health Professions commencement ceremony, which takes place in June.

TUITION

CONTACT US

If you have any questions or comments about this program, please contact:

Ryan Stephan, RHIA -- Coding Specialist Program Director
Health Informatics and Information Management
LOMA LINDA UNIVERSITY | School of Allied Health Professions
Nichol Hall 1905, Loma Linda, California 92350
(909) 558-4976 • fax (909) 558-0404
rstephan@llu.edu | www.llu.edu/llu/sahp