BCC Offers Medical Coding and Health Information Management Certificates

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC) is ready to prepare students for the growing field with its hybrid Medical Coding courses, which focus on how to use the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), CPT, ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS coding manuals. 
 
Courses also include hands-on practice using medical coding software.   
 
Students may enroll any time to begin the program this fall. The Medical Coding Certificate may be completed in two semesters, while the Health Information Management Certificate may be completed in three semesters. 
 
Medical coders and health information specialists are responsible for safeguarding medical records, transmitting information for third-party reimbursement (insurance, Medicare, etc.), handling requests for patient records, and a new field called "informatics."  
 
Upon course completion, students study for the credential exam of their choice: 
 
Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam, offered by the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC)  
Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam, offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) 
 
"In a recent survey of 22 health care facilities within a 100-mile radius of Berkshire Community College, 88 percent reported job openings in medical coding and health information management," said Marsha Estabrook-Adams, Adjunct Faculty, Medical Coding. "If you are fascinated by the world of medicine but not the clinical hands-on experience, this may be the career for you." 
 
For information on how to enroll, visit berkshirecc.edu/academics. 

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Dog Perishes in Pittsfield Structure Fire


Firefighters used several avenues of attack to douse the blaze.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A midday fire Thursday on South Atlantic Avenue killed a pet and left a family homeless.
 
Police happened to be at a neighboring house when they were notified of a fire at 16 South Atlantic. The Fire Department was called out at 12:35 p.m. and found "heavy fire conditions" on the first floor in the kitchen area, reported Deputy Chief Daniel Garner.
 
The fire had extended into the adjoining rooms of the 2 1/2-story, wood frame home. Crews from four engines and a ladder truck attacked the blaze; a primary search was conducted to ensure no one was in the building. 
 
There were no reported injuries but a dog perished in the blaze. Garner estimated that the house suffered about $20,000 to $50,000 in damage, largely from heavy fire and smoke on the first floor and smoke damage throughout. 
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