The Medical Coding Specialist program prepares students for employment as entry-level coding specialists in health care facilities such as hospitals, clinics, physician practice groups, surgery centers, long-term care facilities, and home health care agencies. This program teaches students to review medical documentation provided by physicians and other health care providers, and translate it into universally recognized numeric codes.

  • Overview
  • Is This Program for You?

    If you are analytical, detail-oriented, enjoy working with data, and have an interest in the health care field, a career as a Medical Coding Specialist could be an excellent choice.

    Students entering the Medical Coding Specialist program should:

    • be able to work independently.
    • have a strong knowledge of medical terminology.
    • employ good critical thinking and communication skills.

    Program Basics

    • Technical Diploma.
    • May take the program in modified plan.
    • All courses offered online.
    • Medical Coding students must achieve a grade of C or better in each course of the program curriculum to be eligible to progress.
    • Financial aid available.
  • Curriculum & Costs
  • Requirements
  • Admission and Program Requirements

    • Submit Application and $30 Application Fee
    • To make sure your classes are the right fit, we consider any previous college credit you've earned, Accuplacer or ACT scores, high school GPA, or an assessment at your registration session. Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech, Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809
    • Admissions Meeting: After applying and submitting transcripts, make an admissions meeting with the advisor by clicking "Make an appointment" in the Advisor block on this page.

    Requirements for Online Students

    Chromebooks are not compatible with some testing features within Schoology (our Learning Management System). Southwest Tech recommends not to use Chromebooks for classes.

    • Cable/broadband/DSL internet with a minimum speed of 1.5Mbps. You can test your local internet speed at www.speedtest.net. Run this test from the location you will be working from.

      Higher bandwidth and speed will greatly assist you in your online learning environment, so where possible, a faster internet speed is recommended. Cable internet tend to be faster than DSL or 4G wireless, although DSL or 4G wireless may also work depending on other factors. Your computer, other software (such as anti spyware), other users on the system, and system configurations can all influence your ultimate line speed. Many instructors use videos as a part of their instruction, as well as synchronous meeting times (Skype, Adobe Connect, etc). Having an acceptable internet connection speed will be important to your success.

    • Convenient access to a computer that has one of the following current versions of Internet Browsers:
      • Microsoft Internet Explorer
      • Mozilla Firefox
      • Google Chrome
      • Safari
      Call 608.822.2302 for verification of other browsers.
    • An active e-mail account (all Southwest Tech students are issued a free email account)
    • Word processing software (Microsoft Word is the recommended word processing software at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College). Free Microsoft Office software is available to all Southwest Tech students at http://products.office.com/en-us/student
    • Availability of 10-15 hours per week for each 3-credit course
    • Self-motivation and self-discipline

    Helpful Academic Background

    • Keyboarding and basic computer skills
    • Biological Sciences

    Program Fees

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
    • Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.
  • Outcomes
  • Program Outcomes

    At the completion of the program, students are expected to be able to:

    • Collect health data
    • Model professional behaviors and ethics
    • Use electronic applications to support coding and data collection
    • Apply coding and reimbursement systems
  • Career Pathway
  • Career Pathways

    Career Pathways offer new ways to achieve your education goals. Instead of studying just one program, the Career Pathways model links related academic programs in a sequence. Each program offers direct job preparation AND a path to the next higher academic program.

  • Career Opportunities
  • Job security is available nationwide: there is a critical shortage of qualified medical coders. This program prepares students for employment as entry-level coding specialists in health care facilities such as: hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, surgery centers, insurance companies, consulting companies, government agencies, computer software companies and other health care settings. Possible employment for program graduates may include:

    • Outpatient Coder
    • Inpatient Coder
    • Medical Coding Specialist
    • Coding Analyst
    • Claims Analyst

    Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.

  • Transfers
  • Prior Learning
  • Credit for Prior Learning

    Experience Pays! You've Been There... You've Done That... Let's See If You Can Get Credit For It!

    Credit for prior learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This may be the result of work or volunteer experiences, certifications, apprenticeships, military training, extensive self-instruction, or professional development. Credit for Prior Learning affords you the opportunity to accelerate the completion of your educational goals.

    For more information or to request Credit for Prior Learning see our Credit for Prior Learning page.

    Medical Coding Specialist Courses that may have Credit for Prior Learning options:

    Course # Course Title Challenge Exam
    (Demonstration)
    Challenge Exam
    (Standard)
    CLEP Credential Portfolio
    10-501-101Medical TerminologyYes
    Available online
    10-530-162Foundations of HIMYes
    10-530-165Intermediate CodingYes
    10-530-178Healthcare Law & EthicsYes
    10-530-182Human Diseases for the Health ProfessionsYes
    10-530-184CPT CodingYes
    Current Certified Professional Coder (CPC) or Certified Coding Specialist - Physician Based (CCS-P)
    10-530-185Health Care ReimbursementYes
    10-530-197ICD Diagnosis CodingYes
    Current International Classification of Diseases - 10 (ICD-10), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) or Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
    10-530-199ICD Procedure CodingYes
    International Classification of Diseases - 10 (ICD-10) or Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)
    10-801-196Oral/Interpersonal CommunicationYes