1. Are there prerequisites to the program?
Yes. Students coming into the program are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent, and computer proficiency, including keyboarding skills.
2. How long is the program at Everett Community College?
The program can be completed in anywhere from four quarters (12 months) to six quarters (18 months). If your computer and keyboarding skills need some brushing up, you may need to take additional classes before starting the program.
3. Can I transfer prior credits?
No. The program is designed to be taken in its entirety and you cannot transfer any credits.
4. What is the cost of the program and what does it include?
The cost for the program is $5928.48. Tuition is paid quarterly based on the number of credits taken. There is a one-time $200 enrollment fee paid at the start of the program that includes access to the 3M Encoder and 3M online resources; currently this will tie to registration in MC 101. There are quarterly online fees of $2.50 per credit taken. The estimated cost of books is approximately $700.00 and is not included in the cost of the program. See the MC Booklist for quarterly requirements. It is your responsibility to purchase the required textbooks. Take care that you only buy books for the current quarter as requirments may change.
5. Is the program eligible for financial aid?
Yes. Everett Community College participates in the Pell Grant, SEOG (Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant), Stafford Loan, and Washington State Need Grant programs. You must be a Washington State resident to be considered eligible for the State Need Grant. To start our financial aid process, please contact our MC and MTE financial aid team at MC-MTEfinancialaid@everettcc.edu or 425-388-9157. They will help you through each step of the financial aid application process.
6. Is the program self-paced?
No. This is a college-level program that culminates in a 44-credit college certificate. There are scheduled start and end dates to each quarter and specific due dates for assignments. In addition, there are an online participation requirements.
7. How many hours per week does it take to complete the program?
You will need to dedicate approximately 3 hours per week per credit taken to complete all the material.
8. Is there a minimum grade point average to pass this program?
Yes. You must receive a "C" (2.0) or better in ALL classes - equivalent to 77% or better.
9. What if I don't pass a class with a "C" or better?
If you fail to earn a "C" in any class, you may repeat that class (up to two additional times) in order to raise your grade to passing. The cost of a "retake" class will be prorated, based on the number of credit hours you are repeating.
10. Will I be a certified medical coder when I graduate?
No. You will receive a "certificate of completion" when you finish the EvCC program, but this is not the same thing as being "certified." The only way to become a Certified Coding Associate (CCA) or a Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) is to pass an exam given by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) or AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders). Generally, students finishing the program voluntarily take the CCA exam. After working as a medical coder for at least two years, the CCS exam can be taken.
11. What is the projected job market for MCs in the future?
Right now and into the foreseeable future there is a shortage of qualified MCs in this country. The Department of Labor statistics predicts that employment and/or self-employment opportunities for MCs will continue to grow faster than the national average for the next several years. While there are opportunities for coders, graduates without experience should expect to start in an entry position requiring coding and patient chart knowledge.
12. Does EvCC offer job placement?
While we do not offer job placement directly, all of our program graduates who go on to pass the Career Step (CS) final exam with a score of 75% or higher (not required for EvCC program completion) are eligible for the CS Graduate Resources which provides support including extensive employer relationships, job notifications, and access to the CS Help Hotline for a year.
In addition, the EvCC program does include a practicum that will give you good practice using your coding skills. Scoring well here is a good indicator that you are ready to take the CCA (Certified Coding Associate) exam. Potential employers will be more inclined to interview a new medical coder with CCA certification than one without. While there is a high demand for medical coders, as with any job, it may take time to find the "first" job, and obtaining certification can be useful in this process.
13. Where might I expect to find employment?
Medical coders typically work in medical clinics, physician offices, hospitals, and insurance offices. Job titles may vary and could include any of the following:
- Outpatient Coder
- Inpatient Coder
- Certified Patient Account Technician
- Medical Claims Review Specialist
- Claims Reviewer
- Claims Processor
- Medical Coder
- Certified Professional Coder
- Certified Procedural Coder
- Claims Assistant Professional
- Claims Analyst
- Coding Analyst