Nov 26, 2020  
College Catalog 2018-2019 
College Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Medical Billing & Coding Certificate

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Rebecca Osborn Lewis, 413.552.2426


The purpose of this certificate is to provide students the opportunity to learn and practice in the field of Medical Billing & Coding as an entry into the field of Health Information Management. Students will have the opportunity to perform medical billing and coding procedures in order to complete health insurance claims according to the requirements of the health insurance industry.

Upon completion of the certificate, students are prepared to work in physicians’ offices, long-term care facilities, insurance and billing departments, health information management departments and hospitals.


Upon completion of the program, the student will:

  • Be able to describe the field of electronic medical records.
  • Demonstrate a basic proficiency in anatomy and physiology to the extent required for medical billing coding and insurance personnel.
  • Be able to prepare billing and insurance documents and provide record quality control.
  • Practice medical billing and coding skills in an electronic environment.
  • Able to dictate, transcribe, format, and edit various types of medical reports and correspondence.  
  • Be proficient in the use of ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM, ICD-9-CPT, ICD-10- PCS & HCPCS Level 2 coding systems.

    Upon completion of their case-study based Practicum, be workplace ready upon graduation.

  • Be eligible to sit for the following Massachusetts State and National Exams:
  • Certified Billing & Coding Specialist (CBCS) Exam through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
  • National Certified Insurance & Coding Specialist (NCICS) Exam through the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).
  • Certified Professional Biller (CPB) Exam through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).
  • Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) Exam through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
  • Certified Coding Associate (CCA) Exam through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
  • Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), for Apprentice status.   
  • Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) Level 1 through the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).
  • Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS) Level 2 through the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).

Total: 26 CREDITS


Acceptance: Acceptance to the Medical Billing & Coding Certificate program at Holyoke Community College will be on a selective basis.
Fall Acceptance ONLY.

Pre-requisites include:

  • High School Diploma, GED or HiSET Equivalency Test.
  • Students must place in college level English (ENG 101  ), or be eligible to have this requirement waived. Students who have a prior college degree OR who have completed a college-level ENG 101  class, with a C or better, are deemed ENG 101  eligible and do not need to take and pass both sections of the ENG Placement Test (Reading/Sentence Skills) at HCC.
  • Students must successfully complete a Medical Terminology class (HTH 114  ) with a C or better, before the start of classes OR successfully pass a HTH 114  Challenge Exam (with a C or better).

Prospective students to this program must:

  • File a General Application with the Admissions Office, indicating Medical Billing & Coding Certificate (M043) as their major.
  • Have a current High School transcript, GED or HiSET Equivalency Test scores sent to HCC prior to being accepted.
  • Have any required pre-requisite classes, not taken at HCC, approved for transfer credit.

Applications will be accepted each Fall (for the following Spring semester acceptance) and each Spring (for the Fall semester acceptance), on an available rolling admission basis, up until the start of classes for the semester in which you are applying.· A student’s GPA may be considered during the selection process.

Additional Information:

  • The program is designed to be completed in 3 consecutive semesters.
  • The program begins every Fall and Spring, and is offered only in the evenings or online. This program cannot be taken entirely online.
  • Students who feel they have prior work or training experience, may choose to test-out of an entry-level medical billing & coding class, by paying a testing fee ($30), and taking a Challenge Exam for the comparable subject. Students may choose to test out with Challenge Exams up to a maximum total of 50% of the required number of credits in the program (13 credits maximum for Medical Billing & Coding). Credit for passing a Challenge Exam (scoring a C or higher) will appear on a student’s Transcript as Transfer Credit. However, that credit earned for Challenge Exams is not transferrable to other institutions.

Available Challenge Exams for this program include:

    HTH 114  : Medical Terminology (3 credits)
    HIM 103: Introduction to Health Information Management (2 credits)
    HIM 104: Health Insurance Reimbursement & Computerized Billing (4 credits)
    HIM 106  : Electronic Health Records (3 credits)
    HIM 107: Human A&P Disease Processes (4 credits)
    HIM 220  : Diagnosis Coding (3 credits)
    HIM 221  : Procedure Coding (3 credits)

Students who have completed MEA 109: Anatomy and Physiology for Medical Assistants, with a C or better, within the last 7 years will only be required to complete the Disease Processes portion of the HIM 107: Human Anatomy, Physiology and Disease Processes for Medical Billing class. A student’s Final Grade from MEA 109 will be used as half of a student’s final grade for their HIM 107 class. Students will still be required to register and pay for the full 4 credit HIM 107 class.

Students who have completed BIO 111  : Human Biology or BIO 217  & BIO 218  : Human Anatomy & Physiology 1 & 2, with a C or better within the last 7 years do not need to take HIM 107: Human Anatomy, Physiology and Disease Processes for Medical Billing.


Gainful Employment


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