Frequently Asked Questions

 

In order to learn more about the Health Information Technology (HIT) program at CPCC as well as the HIT profession, please review the frequently asked questions below.

 

Q. What are the educational options offered to students by the HIT program at CPCC?

A. Currently, the HIT program at CPCC offers three different training options that differ based on professional background and length of study.

  • Full-Time Associate Degree Program: This program is designed for individuals new to the HIT/HIM profession to take classes full-time and earn an Associate Degree in two years.
  • Part-Time Associate Degree Program: This program is designed for individuals new to the HIT/HIM profession to take classes part-time and earn an Associate Degree in 8-9 semesters including summer sessions.
  • Certificate Program: This program is designed for HIT/HIM professionals already in the field who are looking to advance their career with additional knowledge and training.

 

Q. Is the HIT program offered completely online?

A: All coursework is offered online. There are three Professional Practice Experience Classes where students practice in various healthcare facilities.

Q. Are the online classes self-paced?

A. No, each HIT online course is divided into modules and you are given a schedule as to when each module ends and a test is given online.

Q. How long does it take to complete the program?

A. The program takes 2 years to complete attending full-time and 8-9 semesters including summer sessions to complete attending part-time. The program is lockstep meaning you take the courses in a prescribed sequence.

Q. What is the graduation rate for the program?

A. CPCC has a 100 percent Health Information Technology program graduate rate based on the class HIT 280 Professional Issues, our capstone review course.

Q. What are the three Professional Practice Experience (PPE) courses?

A. These classes provide students hands on practice in various healthcare facilities in the Charlotte, NC area. The first PPE is 48 contact hours during the 2nd semester. The second PPE is 96 contact hours during the third semester (the hours are split into blocks of hours). The third PPE is 48 contact hours during the fourth semester. PPE experiences are scheduled during normal business hours (M-F).

Q. Do any classes have an expiration date?

A. Yes, BIO 169, MED 122, CIS 110, DBA 112 and any HIT class must have been taken within the last 5 years.

Q: What is the cost of the HIT program?

A: Tuition and fees are published in the College Catalog and on the college website at www.cpcc.edu. In addition to the "per credit hour" fee, there are laboratory fees assigned to courses with a lab/clinical component. Additional costs include textbooks, workbooks, medical fees for a physical exam and drug screening and immunizations.  Since each student has different needs, we cannot give you an exact cost, but rather a "ballpark" figure of $4500 to $5000 for the entire program.  Financial aid is available through the College for qualified students.

Q: Is the CPCC HIT program accredited?

A: Yes, the CPCC Health Information Technology Associate Degree Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

CAHIIM Logo

Q. Is there a credential available upon graduation from the program?

A. Yes, students who successfully complete the program are eligible to sit for the national exam for Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). This credential is recognized throughout the United States, and only graduates of a CAHIIM accredited HIT program or an HIM program approved by a foreign association with a reciprocity agreement with AHIMA are eligible to sit for this exam.

CPCC had twenty five graduates for the academic year 2013-2014. Twenty-two students passed the RHIT exam resulting in an eighty-eight percent pass rate. The national pass rate for this time period is seventy six percent.

Q. What are the employment prospects for a trained health information technician?

A: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics employment is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.  Demand will stem from the implementation of the electronic health record.

Q. What do Health Information Technicians earn?

A: Earnings will vary depending upon experience, skill level and location. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a Health Information Technician in 2012 was $34,160 per year, or $16.42 per hour.

Q: What kind of jobs are available to a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT)?

A: RHIT’s are employed in hospitals, physician offices, medical clinics, and outpatient surgery centers. Various job areas are coders, reimbursement, quality, trauma registrar, tumor registrar, and electronic chart analysis. As electronic health records are being mandated, job opportunities related to maintaining and updating the electronic health record are becoming available.

Q: Am I too old to start a new career?

A: The average student is our program is 35 years old, with of range of ages from 18-62. Some students are in the process of changing their careers and some are women who have decided to go to school now that their children are older.

Q: If I am interested in applying to CPCC's Health Information Technology program, what is my next step?

A: All students need to complete the CPCC application and submit appropriate documents for admissions to CPCC before applying to the HIT program. Once the application has been submitted and accepted, a student can apply to the HIT program. Select the appropriate link below to Get Started.

 

Q. What are the criminal background check and drug screen requirements?

A. Criminal Background Check and Drug screen: All accepted students are required to undergo a criminal background check and drug screen. Procedural information concerning these requirements will be provided upon acceptance.

  • Note: Criminal background checks (CBCs) and drug screens are required by clinical agencies/healthcare systems. If a student is refused access to clinical experiences because of a positive CBC or drug screen, the student will be unable to complete the clinical component of the course. Inability to complete the clinical requirements will result in a failure to progress in the program.

Under North Carolina law some people with criminal backgrounds may be eligible for an expunction to remove charges or convictions from their record. If you would like to know whether or not you are eligible, contact Single Stop at 704.330.2722 ext.: 6435 or email singlestop@cpcc.edu to schedule a legal consultation. To learn more about expunctions, explore the NC Justice Center’s guide.