W-FL BOCES receives grant for medical coding course

Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES
The medical coder course will provide training approved by the AHIMA, meaning graduates of the program will gain critical occupational skills that can be directly applied at any institution using ICD-10 coding.

FINGER LAKES — This fall, Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES will begin providing an American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)-approved medical coding course, made possible through a grant from the New York State Department of Labor. This program will implement a new, local, in-person training opportunity for unemployed and underemployed individuals to become Certified Coding Associates and rejoin the workforce quickly and for the long term. 

In a letter from Commissioner Roberta Reardon, and on behalf of Governor Kathy Hochul, the grant proposal for an Unemployed/Underemployed Worker Training Program was selected to receive funding under the Workforce Development Initiative Consolidated Funding Application.  

WFL BOCES

The medical coder course will provide training approved by the AHIMA, meaning graduates of the program will gain critical occupational skills that can be directly applied at any institution using ICD-10 coding. While AHIMA and AAPC are both considered the gold standard, AHIMA is preferred by large inpatient healthcare providers. 

Currently, our region lacks a local, in-person, AHIMA-approved medical coding program for the general public, and while there is an abundance of online programs, many area residents have poor broadband connectivity or other access barriers. This training aligns with regional plans to connect workforce development efforts to forecasted labor shortages. Regionally, there is an average of 61 openings per year. 

Students in the course will have the opportunity to attain a nationally recognized certification and learn about the medical coder workplace, as well as career paths available to medical coders. Students will use textbooks and practice in a simulated learning environment, having access to the VLab, AHIMA’s virtual practice space bundle for medical coders, which allows students to practice as if they were working with real records.  

Upon completion of the course, successful students will earn a CCA credential, which is an entry-level credential for AHIMA certifications. Students will also be supported by case managers throughout the program, who provide information and referrals to community-based organizations and governmental agencies. Case managers support successful access and transitions at all levels of instruction, between programs, and transitions to employment. They will be available to assist students with interview and job-seeking skills. Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES is also committed to working with entities who employ our graduates to assist with the transition from training to employment.  

The course will be offered evenings three times per year, in two 16-week sessions and one extended session that will stretch into the following year. Each session is designed to host 20  students, and the course will take place at the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES campus in Newark. At the end of each session, enrollees will sit for the exam to become CCAs. Students will be able to participate in the program tuition-free and will receive a $1,000 stipend, paid out in increments and contingent on passing throughout the course. 

To learn more about the program, please contact Erin Fairben at erin.fairben@wflboces.org or 315-332-7280.