NEWTON-Students from the spring 2004 class of Professional Medical Coding at Sussex County Community College recently took their national certification examination and passed it with a 100-percent rate. The students took exams on May 15 at Sussex County Community College, and the American Association of Professional Coders recently released the results. These newly certified medical coding professionals live and work in Sussex County or in the surrounding region. The Department of Allied Health at SCCC offers two programs for the medical coding specialty: Professional Medical Coding and Medical Claims Processing and Coding. Both programs are based on national recommendations as set forth by the American Association of Professional Coders. Students are awarded a certificate upon successful completion and are eligible to sit for the national certification examination. Medical coding professionals are people who convert written descriptions of disease, injuries, and procedures into numerical designations. These designations are then used to process all medical claims. Medical coders help ensure that physicians receive maximum reimbursement in a timely manner. In the same way, efficient and accurate medical coding helps patients avoid insurance problems. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the demand for medical coders is increasing nationally by approximately 10,000 employees each year and is projected to increase 36 percent or more through the year 2010. Medical coders are employed by hospitals, clinics, physicians' offices, ambulatory care facilities, nursing facilities, health maintenance organizations, insurance companies, and health data organizations. Certified medical coders are an asset to any office as they help to prevent legal difficulties by coding accurately. Those interested in becoming a certified medical coder can visit the SCCC Web site, sussex.edu, or call the Department of Allied Health at 973-300-2149 for more information. Classes for the medical coding programs begin in September and class sizes are limited, so early registration is advised.