Why Choose Healthcare Accounting A.A.S at CLC?
• CLC is the first two-year college in the state to offer a Healthcare Accounting AAS degree, demonstrating its commitment to current industry developments.
• CLC graduates have an advantage when applying for jobs with their duel skill sets and knowledge in the fields of accounting, business and the office.
• Transfer easily into four-year bachelor programs.
• Strong partnerships with area businesses provide CLC students professional network connections, internship opportunities and permanent career placement.
• Take courses both in the classroom or online.
Healthcare Accounting A.A.S. Degree
Program Course Requirements
First Year – Fall Semester
ACCT 2011 Accounting Principles I (4 cr)
ACCT 2114 Payroll Accounting (3 cr)
BIOL 1404 Human Biology (3 cr)
HINS 1163 Medical Office Procedures (3 cr)
Total – 13 Credits
ACCT 2012* Accounting Principles II (4 cr)
ACCT 2138* Computerized Accounting Software (3 cr)
ACCT 2140 Accounting Applications (3 cr)
HINS 1150* Intro to DX and Procedure Coding (3 cr)
HINS 1360 Medical Terminology (3 cr)
Total – 16 Credits
Second Year – Fall Semester
ACCT 2121* Intermediate Accounting I (4 cr)
ACCT 2161* Cost Accounting I (3 cr)
BUSN 1166 Business Communications (3 cr)
HINS 2144 Legal Aspects of Health Care (2 cr)
MATH 1441 Concepts in Math (3 cr) OR MATH 1470 College Algebra (3 cr)
Total – 15 Credits
ACCT 2123* Intermediate Accounting II (4 cr)
HINS 2172* Reimbursement Methodologies (3 cr)
General Education (9 cr)
Total – 16 Credits
GRADUATION REQUIREMENT – 60 CREDITS
Career Description: Many accountants work in certified public accounting firms that perform tax and auditing services, but the majority work as management or “private” accountants. The role of the accounting and/or finance department has expanded greatly. Accountants and healthcare accountants help organizations make informed decisions by preparing and analyzing a variety of financial and non-financial information. They help management safeguard and control the assets of the business and ensure the transactions and records of the business comply with applicable laws. Accounting and finance staff are critical in the fight to cut waste and fraud, analyzing revenue cycle data to identify new or additional revenue sources, and ensuring timely, relevant data is provided when business decisions are being made. Accountants use specialized accounting and finance software; in small businesses the accountant is often the computer expert.
Program Information: Central Lakes College offers a 60-credit, two-year Healthcare Accounting Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree. The A.A.S. degree prepares students by teaching the analytical and technical skills needed for an accounting career in the healthcare field. Students gain experience recording transactions, analyzing revenue cycle transactions, and doing realistic simulations on the most popular accounting and healthcare computer systems.
Graduates will be able to:
- Complete the accounting cycle, and prepare classified general purpose financial statements in good form;
- Possess and utilize the tools needed to analyze financial and business information that support planning and decision making in prospective payment systems;
- Apply accounting principles to business transactions in both a manual and a computerized environment;
- Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of employment laws, earnings calculations, payroll tax compliance, ICD and CPT coding, and HIPPA as they related to healthcare rules and regulations;
- Measure and prepare financial and non-financial information used to support strategic management and internal decision making;
- Apply ethical principles in decision making;
- Demonstrate effective communication skills;
- Describe the current reimbursement processes, forms, and support practices for healthcare reimbursement; and
- Explain medical billing/collection regulations and standards that apply to systems such as Medicare, Medicaid, HIPPA, and the Affordable Care Act.
Special Program Requirements:
In addition to the program requirements listed above, students must meet the following conditions in order to graduate:
- College Cumulative GPA Requirement: The cumulative grade point average (GPA) of credits attempted and completed at CLC must be at least 2.0;
- College Technical Core GPA Requirement: The cumulative GPA of credits attempted and completed towards the technical core of the diploma or degree must be at least 2.0;
- Residency Requirement: students must complete 25% (15) of their credits at Central Lakes College; and
- Accounting courses in the program must be completed within seven (7) years.
Certification: Certified Revenue Cycle Representative (CRCR): The CRCR credential is a certification granted by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) professional organization. HFMA members and non-members are eligible to take the CRCR exam. Recertification must be obtained every two years. The CRCR credential is valuable for those that work within a hospital revenue cycle or work in a department that supports the hospital revenue cycle such as Patient Access, Financial Representative, Health Information Management, Finance, Compliance etc. Certified Technical Specialist: Accounting & Finance: The CTS credential is a certification granted by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) professional organization. HFMA members and non-members are eligible to take the CTS exam. Recertification must be obtained every two years. This certification is designed for accounting professionals in the healthcare finance management profession. The credential is obtained by completing self-study materials and passing the online exam. Certified Bookkeeper: A Certified Bookkeeper exam is offered by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. This exam covers normal accounting practices of the typical business. This exam can be taken after a 2-year Accounting Degree. Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) and Certified Payroll Professional (CPP): The FPC and CPP are two payroll certifications that 2-year degree accounting students can pursue. The FPC has no experience requirement. The CPP exam’s minimum employment requirement ranges from 18 months to 3 years depending on which eligibility criteria option is chosen. Graduates achieving these certifications often gain an edge over other applicants during the hiring process and advance more quickly along their career paths. Advanced certifications within the healthcare accounting profession would include Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP) and Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (FHFMA). These certifications require additional education, work experience, and membership to professional organization(s). The State of Minnesota offers 2 levels of licensure for Accountants. Registered Accounting Practitioner: The (RAP) certification requires a 2-year Accounting Degree and authorizes the licensee to perform but not supervise all accounting services on a formal audit. Certified Public Accountant: The (CPA) license requires 5 years of college education (150 semester credits). CPA’s are authorized to perform all accounting services and can supervise audits.
Transfer Opportunities: All students planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting or healthcare administration are strongly encouraged to consult with the Accounting or Healthcare Admin. faculty about transfer opportunities and with the Advising Department about transfer information for specific four-year colleges. The A.A.S. two-year degree in Healthcare Accounting is not intended for transfer. Our graduates often go directly to work.
Career Opportunities: Accountants and healthcare accountants are highly employable graduates who qualify for a wide variety of jobs. More career opportunities exist in accounting today than ever before. Businesses are being held to a higher standard of financial reporting due to recent corporate scandals and financial crises. In healthcare, the onset of Electronic Health Records (EHR) has generated an increased ability to gather data to assist in the reimbursement and revenue management of healthcare organizations. As a result, the demand for accountants, revenue analysts, and auditors has expanded. Because accounting has always been considered the language of business, demand for bookkeeping, payroll, accounting, and auditing technicians remains strong. An accounting degree is versatile and allows graduates to pursue many different career paths. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15.7% change in employment growth for accountants between 2010 and 2020. For these reasons, accounting may be the best route to a successful business career. The CLC accounting staff receives many notices of job openings that result in job placement for our accounting students.
Career Titles: A graduate with a Healthcare Accounting A.A.S. degree would be highly qualified for any of the following career titles: Billing Specialist, Reimbursement Analyst, Healthcare Revenue Specialist, HIM Revenue Cycle Auditor, Patient Account Representative (non-coding), Billing Clerk (non-coding), Payroll Clerk, Bookkeeper, Accounting Technician, Accountant, Accounts Payable Technician, Accounts Receivable Technician, Accounts Payable Manager, Accounts Receivable Manager, Collection Specialist.
Kristina Ehnert is an Accounting Instructor at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, MN. Accounting courses that Kristina teaches include; Accounting Principles, Payroll Accounting, Accounting Applications, Intermediate Accounting and Cost Accounting. Being an Accounting Internship mentor and Accounting Club adviser are also part of Kristina’s rewarding responsibilities. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Accounting from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and an MBA degree with an Accounting concentration from Keller Business School of Management. Kristina is also a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Leadership Training program.
Kristina has her Certified Public Accounting license and is a member of the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants and the AICPA. She began her accounting career in private industry before launching her career in higher education. While working in industry she enjoyed preparing and analyzing monthly financial statements and board reports, performing revenue and cost analysis, compiling audit schedules, reconciliations and footnotes for the annual audit, calculating and examining financial leverage ratios and profitability ratios, but most of all Kristina was enthusiastic in sharing her passion for superior accounting with new accounting staff. Additionally, she taught MS Excel courses through Community Education and relished working with adult learners.
Kristina is active in her community as a director on the IDS #553 School Board, a volunteer on various school committees, a Sunday School Teacher and Vacation Bible School volunteer. In her spare time she enjoys scrapbooking, camping, golfing, gardening, and hiking. Above all else, she is a dedicated mother and wife and enjoys spending the most time with her two sons and husband.
Steve Ostlund is an Accounting Instructor at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, MN. Steve teaches all courses in the accounting curriculum from Principles of Accounting through Intermediate Accounting, Cost Accounting, Payroll Accounting, and Governmental Accounting. He received both his undergraduate degree in Accounting and his Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of North Dakota. Steve received his Certified Public Accountant Certificate from the North Dakota State Board of Public Accountancy in 1988.
Steve started his accounting career as an accountant for a non-profit organization. After receiving his MBA he has worked in business and industry as an accountant and in accounting academia as an accounting instructor. He has over 20 years of teaching experience. He has previously has taught accounting at St Cloud Technical and Community College and for Ridgewater College in Hutchinson, MN.
During his free time in the summer Steve enjoys golfing and bicycling with his wife Deb. In the winter months he enjoys ice skating and hockey. He and Deb have three daughters and six grandchildren.