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updated: 1/17/2013 8:23 PM

COD, Career Step offer Online Health Care Training for Transition Into Workforce

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COD News Bureau

Continuing Education/Extended Learning at College of DuPage has partnered with Career Step to provide online health career training programs designed to provide skills for a quick transition into the workforce.

Because of the format, students can study at their own pace and at any time that fits their schedules, said Cristina Willard, program development specialist at College of DuPage. Some programs can be completed in as little as three months.

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"This training is based upon getting people to work right away in professions that are in need of employees," she said.

Programs include Inpatient and Outpatient Medical Coding and Billing, in which students learn to translate medical records into standardized codes that are used to bill patients and third-party payers. The program requires 640 hours of study and, upon completion, students are prepared for the national certification exams offered by AAPC and AHIMA.

Debbie Hasse, program manager at College of DuPage, said the billing and coding field is seeing growth as the number of medical codes will increase from 14,000 to 72,000 in 2014.

"There's a big demand for skilled employees in this field," she said. "The U.S. Department of Labor projects an employment increase of 21 percent by 2018."

Other health career programs include Medical Transcription Editor, which requires 640 hours of study and trains students to transcribe the dictations of doctor-patient interactions and create reports for medical records; Medical Billing, which requires 145 hours of study and helps students learn coded data to produce and submit claims while working closely with insurance companies and health care providers; and Medical Administrative Assistant, which requires 200 hours and prepares students on the Microsoft Office Suite and to sit for the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant exam.

In addition, the Administrative Assistant program requires 140 hours of study and prepares students to work in an office environment.

Founded in 1992 as a medical transcription school, Career Step now offers education for a variety of health care, administrative services and technology careers.

"We chose to partner with Career Step because of its high quality programming and placement rates," Hasse said. "For example, the placement rate in the Medical Transcription field is 91 percent. Career Step also offers extensive student services including resume development and placement assistance."

Willard said the new partnership complements other health training programs that Continuing Education offers, including Massage Therapy, Dental Assistant and Pharmacy Technician.

"These programs can be an entry point for more study at College of DuPage, where students can earn degrees or certificates that can further their careers," she said.

An information session will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6, in the Student Resource Center, Room 1110. For more information about the new online programs, call (630) 942-2208 or visit www.careerstep.com/cod or www.cod.edu/careerstep.

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