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CAHIIM Accredited Online Programs for RHIT Certification

CAHIIM Accredited RHIT Certification Programs

The Health Informatics industry is becoming the talk of the town because of the ever-increasing demand for registered health information technicians and the glittering prospects of this career.

If you are looking for a job in this industry, becoming a Registered Health Information Technician may be the right fit for you. Let us delve into this prospect to see if it may be the right choice.

Why A Career in Health Information Technology?

Health Information Technology is a field offering numerous employment opportunities and growth. Registered Health Technicians are high in demand in the healthcare sector and have the added benefit of various jobs with rewarding salaries. RHITs typically work in hospitals and medical health clinics but are not limited to them.

The wide array of employment posts available to them includes public health informatics, information management redesign specialists, implementation support specialists, mobile support adoption, etc. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment opportunities in health information systems and medical records to increase by 9% within the next decade.

Candidates in the field of Health Information Technology have the prospect of starting their career with a glamorous annual compensation package- starting from about $30,000 to about $50,000. However, expertise, educational background, experience, and skillset can earn up to $75,000.

In addition, health IT provides several other benefits to starters, which aids in advancing their career to new heights. It is, therefore, a practical career choice, and experts do not see its demand waning anytime soon.

Who is a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT)?

A Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) is a certified professional responsible for storing, verifying, and protecting electronic health records. An RHIT also analyzes and evaluates patient data to enhance patient care and keep healthcare costs in check. Although not directly related to patient care, RHITs interact with doctors and other healthcare professionals to ensure the smooth and accurate functioning of these responsibilities.

RHITs have diverse workplace settings and may work in nursing homes, mental health clinics, physician offices, or other healthcare facilities in addition to hospitals. Hence, they can find job opportunities in all organizations that involve patient data, even pharmaceutical companies.

Health Information Management (HIM) vs. Health Information Technology (HIT)

Health Information Technology (HIT) and Health Information Management (HIM) appear to be the names of similar prospects but are starkly dissimilar in reality. HIT involves utilizing information processing, including many software and computer hardware associated with the storage, sharing, recovery, and utilization of medicinal services information or data. HIM, in contrast, is the act of obtaining, evaluating, and securing customary and computerized medical information that is pivotal for quality patient care.

Health Information Technology constitutes fundamental courses such as:

  • Health insurance
  • Introduction to health services and information systems
  • Basic medical terminology and reimbursement

The programs focus on aiding students in building software and hardware systems and preparing them to build or use them. They also help them store, manage, analyze, and retrieve patient records and data that help improve patient health and maintain confidentiality and security of patient health records.

Courses in Health information management include classification of diseases, healthcare systems (physiology, medical terminology, and individual and procedural anatomy), medicinal records, project management, and correspondences.

In addition, the courses focus on:

  • Financial management
  • Strategic planning
  • Records management
  • Human resource management
  • Organizational development
  • Coding
  • Healthcare transcription

What is RHIT Certification?

RHIT certification stands for Registered Health Information Technician and is a professional certificate administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Candidates who pass this exam achieve licensure as health information technicians. This testing has some eligibility requirements, including an associate degree approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) or from a foreign association that holds a reciprocity agreement with AHIMA.

Contrary to popular belief, a Registered Health Information Technician is not a lifetime certification and needs renewal every two years.

Like several other certifications granted by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), RHIT certification is valid for two years only. The recertification process necessitates earning 20 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) within a recertification cycle. The CEUs need to be relevant to the credential holder’s professional post or capacity or the HIM field. 80% of the earned CEUs should match the HIIM domain, and 20% of the total can be relevant to the professional position of a credential holder.

RHIT Certification Requirements

There are no lengthy or drawn-out certification requirements for RHIT certification. Candidates who meet any of the following eligibility requirements are permitted to sit in the RHIT examination:

  • Successful completion of an associate degree related to a Health Information Management (HIM) program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

OR

  • Graduation from an HIM program approved by a foreign association and has a reciprocity agreement with AHIMA.

Students enrolled in HIM academic programs accredited by CAHIIM can apply for and sit in the RHIT or RHIA certification examination early. Eligibility requirements for early testing include:

  • Individuals who have not yet graduated but have finished their course
  • Students currently enrolled in the program and the last term or semester of study
  • Students who have graduated but are now waiting for their official transcripts

What is a CAHIIM Accredited Program?

CAHIIM accreditation is a voluntary peer-reviewed evaluation procedure to review health information management programs and ensure that they meet specific common standards of educational quality. This organization partners with schools and professionals in the field and aims at enhancing the quality of education to a level that meets the healthcare workforce demands.

Attaining accreditation from CAHIIM is a thorough and lengthy process. It requires health information management institutions to apply, undertake a self-assessment of accreditation standards, and undergo a site visit from CAHIIM representatives.

Difference Between Initial and Full Accreditation

Institutions are not accredited immediately: an accrediting body grants initial accreditation to those who meet the set standards. After that, it typically stands for two years or more, depending upon the nature of the accrediting body.

Different accrediting bodies have varying requirements for final accreditation. Initially, accredited educational institutions that satisfy these requirements achieve full accreditation after a specific time frame.

Benefits of Attending a CAHIIM Accredited School

Accredited schools have undergone rigorous testing and evaluation and thus are at par with the practical educational requirements. CAHIIM is one such accrediting body, and attending a CAHIIM accredited institution has the following benefits:

  • Degrees hold interactive evaluation plans for online programs
  • Programs taught with the professionally required skill and knowledge
  • Provide academic eligibility for relevant professional certifications
  • Benchmark data and efficient practices available for quality enhancement
  • Program resources available
  • Access to conference workshops and presentations available
  • Assurance that the curriculum is relevant to today’s electronic health record (HER) environment.

Best CAHIIM Accredited Online Programs For RHIT Certification

Shoreline Community College

Shoreline Community College offers an online Associate of Applied Arts and Science (AAAS) in Health Information Technology that prepares students for the national exam. Once passed, it equips them to become Registered Health Information Technician. Shoreline Community College has a first-time exam pass rate of 83%, better than the national average (69%). This program comprises about 92-94 credit hours, with prerequisite requirements in Economics, Chemistry, Biology, Algebra, and English Composition.

The program functions on a quarter system, and students can complete the course in two years, provided they take three courses per quarter. Although all coursework is online, students must appear on campus for two consecutive weeks. Applications for a fall start date open up in January, but acceptance to this program is unrelated to college admission. This college also offers an online certificate program in this domain.

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Sinclair Community College

Sinclair Community College offers an online AAS in Health Information Management designed to be completed in five semesters if undertaken full time. However, students can take up the program part-time, which may take longer for completion.

This program prepares students for the national exam, becoming an RHIT if they pass. Graduates of Sinclair Community College had a 92% first-time pass rate on the national exam from 2016-2017. General education courses have open enrollment, whereas limited registration is available for technical classes pertinent to the program.

Prerequisites to the program include a primary health information management course and biology. The program offers all courses online, but students residing near campus can choose some on-campus courses with their online classes. That is, however, solely dependent upon the wishes of the student. The campus does not provide placement to medical practices for professional practice experience to students residing out of the area.

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University of Cincinnati-Clermont College

The University of Cincinnati-Clermont College offers an online AAS program in Health Information Systems. The program provides both part-time and full-time options. Full-time students of Spring and Fall enrollment can complete the program in two years.

Admission requirements in this institution are relatively uncompetitive and based on open enrollment, and students can have admission if they have a high school diploma, GED, or the equivalent. The first attempt exam pass rate for the University of Cincinnati-Clermont College is 71%, but students can retake the exam after graduation.

Students can graduate with a credential since taking the RHIT examination is a part of this program’s curriculum. In addition, students who choose the Advanced Coding Applications course take the Certified Professional Coder (C.P.C.) exam. Tuition for this program is quite reasonable and the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. This institute also offers a certificate option for students who do not hold a degree.

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Roane State Community College

Roane State Community College offers a 66 credit hour online AAS program in Health Information Management, with a completion time frame of two years.

Admission requirements include successful completion of prerequisites in medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, technology, and computer applications, along with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Also, the program offers complete access to a virtual library, virtual bookstore, HelpDesk support, and virtual tutoring to online students.

Although the program includes online courses, there are some on-campus practical experience requirements. The on-campus experience is a significant part of the course and includes face-to-face interaction with clinical site supervisors. There are, however, requirements for drug and alcohol screening and criminal background checks for clinical site participation. Tuition is affordable but considerably higher for out-of-state students.

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Rochester Community and Technical College

Rochester Community and Technical College’s online AAS in Health Information Technology offers specializations in Cancer Registry Management or Coding. National exam pass rates for this college are variable, ranging from a low of 69% to a high of 84% in the past few years. This program is entirely online, except for two necessary internships.

Rochester Community and Technical College is an open-door school, meaning anyone with a high school diploma, GED, or relevant degree is eligible for admission. As a result, the tuition is relatively reasonable and the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. Moreover, specialized programs with reduced tuition rates are available for high school seniors, midwestern students, and those with high ability.

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San Juan College

San Juan College offers an online AAS in Health Information technology that students can complete full-time in approximately two years and a little over four years part-time. The college has a 71% first-time pass rate on the RHIT examination and a low attribution rate of 4%. The application process of this degree is separate from admission to the college, and applicants first apply to San Juan College.

Additionally, prerequisite courses are compulsory, including ten credit hours of health-related classes and 15-16 credit hours of the general education requirement, after which they can apply to the program.

Further admission requirements include a 2.75 college GPA. Students can apply for spring and fall semesters for this degree. This program has an acceptance program for native and overseas students and provides special assistance for Native Americans and veterans. Tuition rates are also fairly reasonable and are especially low for residents of New Mexico. Tuition for international and out-of-state online students is about three times more than in-state students.

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St. Philip’s College

St. Philip’s College’s online Health Information Technology program has a completion time of 72 weeks, with only two weeks requiring on-campus attendance at practicum sites in the San Antonio area. However, professionals test students for drugs and alcohol before the exam’s clinical portion.

Admission requirements include a 2.5 GPA and completion of at least 12th-grade mathematics, reading, and writing, along with three prerequisite courses of integrated software application, medical terminology, human anatomy, and human physiology. St. Philip’s College has an exam pass rate of 66%, a graduation rate of 55%, and an employment rate of 50%. In addition, the tuition fee is relatively reasonable.

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State Fair Community College

State Fair Community College offers an online AAS in Health Information Technology about 63.5 credit hours in length. In addition, the program necessitates the completion of civics and communication courses, which also include a section on the Missouri constitution. State Fair Community College has an RHIT exam pass rate higher than the national average. An on-campus practicum is also a part of this program, and the remaining courses are online.

This institution offers reduced tuition for in-district residents and slightly higher for students residing in other areas of Missouri. However, it is almost double for out-of-state students. Veterans and active-duty military also get specialized discounted tuition rates.

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Ultimate Medical Academy

The Ultimate Medical Academy offers an online 63.5 credit hour AS program in Health Information Technology that you can complete in about 18 months. General education courses constitute 15 credits, and 48.5 are for the major’s special courses. The institute boasts a 78.5% employment rate and a 75.7% retention rate.

The tuition rates for this program are not shown on their website but also include the cost of textbooks. Since individual credits are not assigned specific costs, calculating total expenditure is tricky. However, the institute offers online one-on-one tutoring and 24/7 technical support for online students.

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Weber State University

Weber State University offers an online AAS in Health Information Technology. This program does not have specific education requirements, and the courses constitute 30 credit hours of core courses and 19-22 credits of support courses. The course subjects include database management in healthcare, professional practice, computer applications in healthcare, coding, healthcare privacy, and quality improvement. In addition, support courses are available specific to either healthcare (such as pharmacology) or computing.

Admission requirements include anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology prerequisites with a minimum C grade. The program also requires math competency demonstrated via an exam or math course. Finally, you should know that the institute conducts drug screening, immunizations, and background checks before you can commence practical studies.

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Santa Barbara City College

Santa Barbara City College offers an online AAS in Health Information Technology and boasts an 87% retention rate and a 92% national exam pass rate. This program constitutes well-developed programs and courses related to general education and health information. Students can complete all courses online with SBCC, except for some mathematics and general education requirements, which local or online community colleges can provide.

Santa Barbara City College has very low tuition for residents of California, and although international students are readily accepted, their tuition fees may be a little higher. In addition, since the program constitutes a thorough educational plan and has excellent statistics for exam passage, program courses can fill up early on, making it difficult for some students to enroll in these courses as freshmen.

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St. Petersburg College

St. Petersburg College’s admission requirements are quite competitive: satisfying the minimum admission requirements does not ensure enrollment. Admission start dates begin in Fall or Spring. Before applying for the program, St. Petersburg College requires students to complete three prerequisite courses, including anatomy & physiology, computing, and medical terminology, along with at least 12 credits of either support courses in the HIT program or general education.

The minimum grade requirement for application is C or higher. If a student already holds an associate degree, the institution may waive their general education requirements.

This program offers predetermined courses that students can take in the specified order. Veterans, graduates of Florida high schools (who may not qualify as Florida residents), and Florida residents get reduced tuition. Although international students are welcomed, their tuition fees are three times higher than Florida residents.

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Hutchinson Community College

Hutchinson Community College offers an online AAS in Health Information Management program, and students can transfer as many credit hours as possible to this program. Clinical coordinators in this program are pretty helpful and engage with students to find a clinical site in their desired location. The program is online, and you can complete it in under two years as a full-time student. The courses focus primarily on computers, healthcare, or business, without general education requirements.

Hutchinson Community College exam pass rates exceed the national average almost every year. Admission requirements entail a high school diploma or GED with the required scores. Tuition is quite reasonable and is a little higher for students residing out of Kansas City.

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Lincoln College of New England

Lincoln College of New England’s online AAS degree in Health Information Management is entirely online. The program comprises 62-credits, out of which 32 are program-specific. Credits are available in general education subjects, most of them related to physiology and anatomy.

Lincoln College of New England boasts incredible national exam test pass rates. The pass rates were 100% for the 2016-17 reporting date. However, the program has only a 50% graduation rate. The tuition is relatively high, but military service members and families get their admission fees waived and other incredible discounts.

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College offers an online Health Information Technology AAS degree program. This 64-credit program is offered in both full-time and part-time options, and full-time students can complete it in four semesters of work. However, there is a waitlist of one year for the program. Therefore, students may complete a few required courses before admission to this top-rated program.

Admission requirements include:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum high school GPA of 2.6
  • A satisfactory score on skills assessment tests
  • A typing test score of at least 30 words per minute
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Portland Community College

The online AAS HIM program at Portland Community College is a six-term program. Students can quickly transfer credits and use the experience to waive or test out compulsory classes. This program consists of 92 credit hours, and the graduation rate is 75%.

For each Fall cohort, the Portland Community College accepts 35 students. Prerequisites include mathematics, computer, medical terminology courses, and English composition. Students may also enroll themselves in some program courses before acceptance. Applicants are ranked via a point system, and those with experience in the health industry or computer software industry and confidential records earn brownie points.

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Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College boast a 100% national exam test pass rate in the near past. Its online AAS program in Health Information Management also has an 85% employment rate but only a 51% retention rate. This program comprises 65 credit hours, and all core courses are available online. However, students residing close to campus may include some on-campus courses in their curriculum.

Admission requirements entail a high school diploma or GED, a 2.75 GPA, and completed prerequisites with a minimum grade of C. Admissions start in Fall. Cincinnati State Technical and Community College charges in-state tuition to Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio students, whereas others pay double this rate.

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Salary And Expected Job Growth

An RHiT certification cannot decide the salary for a job on its own. However, it can aid in jewelling a health information professional’s resume, which can, in turn, affect the salary range. For example, PayScale, a salary information website, declares $25,240 to $51,533 to be the salary range for RHIT related job positions.

As the baby boomers get older, the job outlook and availability are expected to increase to unprecedented heights. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted job opportunities for health information and medical records technicians to increase by 13% from 2016 to 2026. The BLS also reported 341,600 medical records and health information technicians in the US, but the number may increase by 9% during 2020-2029, translating to about 29,000 new opportunities. The average anticipated growth percentage across all occupations during the same period is 4%, and thus the growth rate of RHIT related job opportunities is double the average.

Related Resource: Highest Paying Healthcare Careers by Degree Level

Get Started With A Health Information Degree Today!

RHITs have been rightly called the brains of modern medicine because of their pivotal role in gathering, maintaining, analyzing, and storing confidential patient information. With the increase in the practical use of telemedicine and remote health care services, the demand for RHITs in society is increasing by the minute. You can become a registered health information technician right from the comfort of your home. Choose an accredited online course offered by several accredited schools today!

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FAQs

Question: Can I become an RHIT by completing a 100% online degree?
Answer: Yes, you can become a registered health information technician through a 100% online degree by passing the required examination. However, most degrees also include a minute practical span, so consulting with an institution before enrollment is advisable.

Question: What does an RHIT do?
Answer: RHITs deal with computers in the healthcare industry and charge patient accounts and medical records. They are also responsible for evaluating, storing, analyzing patient data, and securing it.

Question: Where do RHITs work?
Answer: RHITs have various workplace settings and can find job opportunities in all medical healthcare sectors involving collecting and recording patient data.

Question: Do RHITs get paid well?
Answer: Becoming a registered health information technician is a financially rewarding career choice. The salary range for RHIT related job opportunities is around $25,240 to $51,533.