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---With participation from NYU Langone, Mount Sinai, Northwell Health & Columbia University Medical Center---LaGuardia Medical Billing Certificate Program is designed to graduate adults who understand healthcare finance and who are prepared to work in leading healthcare facilities
LONG ISLAND CITY, NY (October 13, 2016)—A novel education-to-employment program at LaGuardia Community College, which was developed in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medicine in order to prepare well-qualified candidates for medical billing positions, has graduated 22 students from its second cohort in a celebration held at the college last night. A tuition-free program designed for adults who are unemployed, underemployed, or employed but seeking a career with stable hours, benefits, and advancement opportunities, the LaGuardia Medical Billing Certificate Program began in 2015 through work led by the Harvard Business School Club of New York to address critical gaps that exist when employers cannot fill well paying positions due to a shortage of adequately trained candidates. Entry level salaries in medical billing range from $35,000 to $45,000. Among the 22 students graduating from the second cohort, seven were unemployed, and those working full-time were earning as little as $10/hr. (approx. $20,000/year). The medical billing program is supported and offered tuition-free for students through funding from the NYC Department of Small Business Services, and benefits from input provided by the New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare.
“The Medical Billing Certificate Program provides a unique opportunity for New Yorkers to find stable, well-paying jobs,” said LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow. “Students who complete the program have learned specific skills that will make them highly employable. The successful program’s results reflect the benefits of collaboration and bringing together with our college great partners including the Harvard Business School Club of New York, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare and the NYC Department of Small Business Services.”“It was very rewarding for the program’s students to receive coaching from the experienced medical billing managers from a variety of healthcare organizations including Weill Cornell Medicine, NYU Langone, Mount Sinai, Northwell Health, and Columbia University Medical Center,” said Kimberly Kendall, Executive Director, Division of Adult and Continuing Education, LaGuardia Community College. “It’s great to have these healthcare providers eager to hire our grads from this program.” The program to prepare professionals for healthcare finance was developed to bridge the gap between workers’ skills and employers’ needs, as an education-to-employment approach. The results show it is a resounding success. Nearly 90 percent (20 out of 23) of students in the first cohort have been hired as medical billers—most at Weill Cornell Medicine and several others at other area medical centers—where their average starting salary is $22/hr. with full benefits. The remaining three graduates are volunteering and building up their resume. Among the first cohort, 16 were unemployed before the program. The rigorous program involves 267-hours of training, four nights a week (to accommodate those who are working) for nearly six months. Training covers technical skills (medical billing, data analysis, etc.), explanations of healthcare finance, health insurance and the Affordable Care Act, and work readiness skills (resume preparation, communication skills, etc.). There is no cost to participants.To read information about the first cohort of the LaGuardia Medical Billing Certificate program, click here.
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LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, educates more than 50,000 New Yorkers annually through degree, certificate, and continuing education programs. Our guiding principle Dare To Do More reflects our belief in the transformative power of education—not just for individuals, but for our community and our country—creating pathways for achievement and safeguarding the middle class. LaGuardia is a national voice on behalf of community colleges, where half of all US college students study. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his championing the underserved. Since our doors opened in 1971, our programs regularly become national models for pushing boundaries to give people of all backgrounds access to a high quality, affordable college education. We invite you to join us in imagining what our students, our community, and our country can become. Visit www.LaGuardia.edu to learn more. About New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare (“NYACH”), a public-private partnership between SBS and the NYC Workforce Funders, is an industry partnership, bringing together multiple stakeholders of the healthcare workforce development system in order to address the industry’s rapidly changing workforce needs. NYACH’s mission is to build an effective healthcare workforce development system in NYC by identifying employers’ needs, helping education and training organizations adapt to those needs, and ensuring low income and unemployed New Yorkers have access to viable career opportunities in healthcare. For more information, visit www.nyachnyc.org. About NYC Department of Small Business Services The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building a fairer economy in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. SBS works with industry partnerships like NYACH to scale and sustain industry informed training models that support New Yorkers in advancing in career pathways. For more information, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/. About The Harvard Business School Club of New York The Harvard Business School Club of New York is a powerful platform connecting the leadership and management expertise of Harvard Business School and its alumni with the vital, creative, and dynamic Greater New York City community. HBSCNY Skills Gap Project address the gap between the skills needed for currently available mid-skill jobs and the qualifications of workers available to fill those jobs. The research led us to begin our work in the health care and technology sectors. We brought together LaGuardia Community College and Weill Cornell Medical Center to develop a certificate program to appropriately prepare people to fill specialized entry level jobs in health care with real career opportunities, visit http://www.hbscny.org/s/1738/cc/index2.aspx?sid=1738&gid=4&pgid=3348
Long Island City, NY (October 13, 2016)—LaGuardia Community College on Wednesday graduated 22 students in the second cohort of its medical billing certificate program, created in partnership with Weill Cornell Medicine. For the second class, which began in May, additional employer partners expressed interest in preparing students, including NYU Langone, Mount Sinai, Northwell Health and Columbia University Medical Center. The more recent cohort graduated 22 of its 23 students after LaGuardia received about 1,000 applications. A $215,000 grant from the city Department of Small Business Services allows students in the first two cohorts to attend tuition-free, and the city has renewed funding for an additional two cohorts. From the previous group, which graduated in May, 87% of students have been hired as billers. Students attend classes four nights a week for five months, learning technical skills including revenue cycle management and accounting, as well as job-readiness skills such as résumé creation and business communication. Of the 22 students entering the program, seven were previously unemployed and the average worker was earning $10 per hour. Graduates have earned $22 an hour on average, or about $45,000 a year. The program counts for nine credits, which can be applied toward an associate's degree. "The hospital systems are struggling to find an on-ramp to get qualified employees," program director Kim Kendall said, and their direct input has helped students get the needed preparation. Feedback from the first group of students led LaGuardia to alter its program to include more training on Weill Cornell's Epic electronic health record system, while Weill Cornell requested stronger writing skills. The Harvard Business Club of New York is working with LaGuardia to track graduates' long-term performance.—J.L.