AHIMA Foundation Apprenticeship Frequently Asked Questions
When am I eligible to be considered for hire through the AHIMA Foundation apprenticeship program?
It varies based on the apprenticeship role. For example, most applicants will have obtained your CCA, RHIT, or RHIA to be eligible for the Coding or CDI apprenticeship roles. Other roles may require a Bachelor's degree. Acceptable certifications include all AHIMA certifications, the CPC, or CPC-A and the CPHIMS. In addition, individuals who received their certifications or credentials prior to the implementation of ICD-10 are eligible to apply. Please contact the AHIMA Foundation for specific information.
You may initiate your application at anytime. However, your application will not be considered until you have passed a qualifying exam. The apprenticeship program is intended to provide employment opportunities for individuals that have successfully completed the exam but have yet to find employment, or enter the health information workforce.
What are the roles available for apprenticeship?
Hospital Coding, Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialist, Data Analyst, and Business Analyst. Each role varies in terms of eligibility requirements and the length of the apprenticeship. Please review the information on the AHIMA Foundation website related to apprenticeship role descriptions, eligibility criteria, and competencies associated with each role. There is not a limit on the number of apprentices who will be accepted for each role.
Who hires the apprentices? What employment benefits are available?
Interested employers hire the apprentices. The AHIMA Foundation will identify, prescreen and recommend potential apprentices for interviews. As apprentices are hired by the employer, benefits such as medical, dental, or vision coverage should be discussed with the employer.
What is the advantage to the employer to taking on apprentices?
Apprenticeships offer a number of benefits to the employer beyond salary savings, improved employee retention, and increased work quality and productivity. Specifically, the AHIMA Foundation's program includes a series of skill training modules that will create accelerated learning platforms providing front-loaded training. These accelerated learning modules will reduce time commitments and upfront training costs, improve employer confidence in the quality of the HIM apprentice by providing standardized training and testing, as well as providing additional data to evaluate effectiveness of the apprenticeship program. In addition, tax incentives for employers may be available. Additional information is available at http://www.doleta.gov/oa/taxcredits.cfm
How are apprentices paid and when do wages increase?
The apprentice's salary is determined by the employer. Pay increases occur as competencies/skills are demonstrated and training hours are met. Benchmark schedules differ by each registered apprenticeship role.
Do apprentices work onsite or remotely? Who determines the length of the apprenticeship?
The physical work site is determined by the employer. Some apprentice positions may allow for remote work.
Each designated role has identified requirements. Please see the AHIMA Foundation for more details. Apprentices are hired as employees of an organization. Employment decisions will be handled through the policies and procedures of the employer.
As an employer, how do we register for the apprenticeship program?
In order to participate in the AHIMA Foundation Apprenticeship program, the employer must complete the survey with the AHIMA Foundation. The AHIMA Foundation team will work with employers to complete the registration process with the State/Federal Apprenticeship Office. Employers with multi-state operations will be registered in the state in which they are headquartered.
How can educational institutions participate in the program?
We encourage you to stay connected to the apprenticeship program and refer interested HIM participants to the program. In addition, you may want to investigate the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium (RACC) available at http://www.doleta.gov/oa/racc.cfm.
How will I know if placements are available in my state?
All available apprenticeship roles will be maintained in a centralized database through the Department of Labor. The AHIMA Foundation will communicate with potential apprentices as opportunities become available. Additional methods of disseminating information about employer sites may also be developed as the program continues to grow.
The same database of potential apprentices will allow the AHIMA Foundation to identify, prescreen, and recommend potential apprentices for interviews to employers based on apprenticeship role requirements and employer specific applicant criteria.
Can you provide more details about appropriate references for apprenticeship applications?
We encourage professional and personal references, as noted in the application. These should be aimed at demonstrating your work ethic, knowledge, skills, and abilities. If you do not have a professional reference that is an HIM educator or in the field, you are encouraged to submit letter/s of reference from an educator from outside of the field and/or an employer/s from outside the field and go with two professional references as opposed to one professional and one personal reference.
Can you apply for more than one type of apprenticeship (e.g. Hospital Coder/Coding Professional and Data Analyst)?
You can only select one apprenticeship role per application, but you are able to submit as many apprenticeship applications as you are eligible for. In addition, we look forward to further developing the program to include additional apprenticeship roles, such as Career Pathway and Leadership over the next three years. There is not a limit on the number of apprentices who will be accepted for each role.
I have completed and submitted my application, what are the next steps?
In the coming months we will be developing training materials and registering employers for the program. The first cohort of apprenticeships will begin being placed the end of Q1 2016. Applications will be accepted and apprentices placed through the grant period (funded through September 30, 2020) and beyond. Should you need to update information in your application, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.