Monday, February 06, 2006

The Fairmont State Community & Technical College Center for Workforce Education is offering a Certified Procedural Coder (CPC) certification training program. This program is accredited through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). A Certified Coder may obtain employment in a variety of health-care settings.

"Opportunities exist in the expanding health-care industry for people with these specialized skills. Working in doctor's offices and hospitals throughout our area, Certified Coders can make significantly better salaries that those who do not have this certification," said Paul Schreffler, Fairmont State's Director of Economic Development and Workforce Education.

Evening classes will be held at the Monongalia County Technical Center (MTEC) in Morgantown from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This 80-hour, non-academic-credit training course will begin on March 7 and run until June 13, 2006. It is designed to prepare individuals to take the AAPC national certification exam. The certification exam is scheduled for Saturday, June 17.

"No experience is required to take the course, but it is strongly recommended that interested participants have a background in anatomy and physiology and medical terminology either through work or educational experience," said Kim Raines, the AAPC-certified instructor for the course.

"Medical coding and billing is one of the rapidly growing professions in the health-care industry. Scrutiny from federal and state agencies, as well as the insurance industry, mandate the correct assignment of both diagnosis and procedure codes to insure accurate reimbursement. The coding professional is an integral part of maintaining the viability of the practice via their knowledge of the various coding systems. Medical coding and billing is an ever-changing field, one in which the professional is always learning new medical terms, the latest advanced procedures and coverage regulations."

For more information, call the Center for Workforce Education at Fairmont State at (304) 367-4920. Class size is limited and pre-registration is required. Tuition funding is available through the West Virginia Higher Education Adult Part-Time Student Grant Program (WV HEAPS) for those who meet income guidelines.