Health Information Management – New Coding System


National Implementation of ICD-10 Coding starts today.

Today is a big day in history for the Health Information Management arena as the ICD-10 coding data set is being implemented nationwide.  The United States is fifteen years behind the World Health Organization in utilizing ICD-10.   Our health care reimbursement system is linked to our coding systems so implementation was a bigger challenge and has set us back from other industrialized nations to make the change. Congress has delayed implementation twice in the last four years, but we are now on a clear path.

ICD-10 will enhance coding by:

  • Expanding from 21,000 codes in ICD-9 to 141,000 codes in ICD-10
  • Specificity and detail in the codes (example: a leg laceration from a marine animal bite while swimming can now be coded as a right lower leg laceration from a dolphin bite in the ocean while swimming)
  • Allowance for more accurate reimbursement of the services rendered in health care settings
  • Creation of an estimated 20-25 % new jobs along with raising the required skill sets to do the job
  • BONUS! If you are sucked in by a jet engine we can code it!

WDT enrollment increases 10.5 percent

Western Dakota Tech led the state’s technical institutes in growth this year, growing enrollment by 10.5% from fall 2014. This fall, 1,012 students are preparing for in-demand careers at WDT in Rapid City.

“These figures show the value of technical education,” President Ann Bolman said. “The strides made in recent years at WDT to improve programs are showing benefits to students and industry.”

The Build Dakota Scholarship program, which provides full-ride scholarships to students entering high-demand industries, is a contributing factor to the enrollment increase.

Dual Enrollment classes are another area helping boost enrollment. High school students are also able to take Dual Enrollment classes at a free or reduced rate, allowing them to earn both high school and college credit simultaneously.

“There are some amazing opportunities for students at WDT right now,” Bolman said. “The ability to get through school with minimal debt and be primed for a high-demand career is stronger now than ever.”

WDT has added night classes to accommodate student and employer demand in two areas – Transportation Technician Heavy and Welding and Fabrication.

“We are committed to quality programs that meet student and industry demand,” Bolman said. “We will continue working hard to make sure students are receiving the skills and experiences they need to be successful.”

WDT is adding three new programs in 2016 to continue its efforts to meet student and industry demand—Medical Lab Tech, Dental Assisting, and Cybersecurity. Career opportunities in all three areas is growing in South Dakota and across the country.

WDT’s placement numbers show WDT works. More than 98 percent of WDT’s most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or serving in the military, and 93 percent remain in South Dakota.

“Ultimately, our goal is to prepare students for stable and rewarding careers,” Bolman said. “WDT is proud of our student’s post-graduation success.”


For information about WDT, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to


WDT receives funds to boost important programs

Western Dakota Tech will receive a portion of more than $4 million in Future Funds awarded to the state’s four technical institutes by Gov. Dennis Daugaard. The funds will be used to purchase equipment and boost important programs in high-demand workforce areas.

“We want students to be fully prepared for the workforce they will enter after graduation,” Gov. Daugaard said. “That requires the most current and effective training on the most advanced equipment possible. These grants will help our state’s technical institutes keep pace with industry demands.”

WDT will receive $895,247 for equipment that will benefit the following programs: HVAC/R, Law Enforcement, Medical Lab Tech, Nursing, Paramedic, Phlebotomy, Welding and Fabrication, Professional Truck Driving, and more.

“These funds will assist us in providing high-quality programs that give students the skills they need to be successful,” WDT President Ann Bolman said. “Ninety-eight percent of our graduates are employed six months after graduation, filling in-demand positions at the local, state, and national levels.”

For information about WDT, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to