A Crucial Administrative Role in Healthcare Facilities
The role of Patient Access Reps is fast becoming a solid pillar of the United States healthcare system. What’s it all about?
Patient access is the first and most frequent point of access between the healthcare facility and the patient. Patient Access Reps pave the way for better service and interaction with healthcare providers, and provide support to heavily burdened medical staff. They are essential employees, enabling providers to focus on service quality to support both healthcare professionals and patients.
Sounds like a role you want to know more about? Here’s what you need to know.
The Role of a Patient Access Rep in Healthcare Facilities
Patient Access Reps have an important role to play in the healthcare industry. You’ll be responsible for answering all the questions of patients and their family members, and screening for eligibility.
You’ll help to improve patient satisfaction, reduce hospital readmissions, and ensure that patients know what they should expect from their treatment and recovery process.
Patient access reps are also responsible for promoting a holistic health care model. They help to implement strategies that will improve patient satisfaction with the healthcare services that they receive.
You’ll have a duty of confidentiality with your access to patient records, and the trust of patients with confidential information such as their prescriptions, medical history, and treatment plans.
You’ll provide patients with resources that can help them navigate the healthcare system more effectively, such as:
- Health insurance enrollment assistance
- Finding services or providers in their area
- Providing referrals to other healthcare professionals or facilities
A Patient Access Rep provides a wealth of knowledge about the healthcare system to help patients make decisions about their healthcare needs, and to remain fully informed on how to take care of themselves.
Career Prospects for Patient Access Reps
The job outlook for this field is projected to grow much faster than the average occupation, at a rate of 8% from 2019 to 2029, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Outlook Handbook. As well as stability and demand, there are various pathways you can follow in the field of patient access, such as:
- Patient Access Specialist
- Patient Access Supervisor
- Patient Access Manager
- Patient Access Director
We may have to go into detail about these roles in another article, but it’s clear there is certainly room for career progression and exciting promotions.
What Does a Successful Patient Access Representative Look Like?
To be a great Patient Access Rep, you’ll need to be highly attentive to detail, and be able to remain calm in stressful situations. As you’re dealing with patients and their families, you must have buckets of empathy and a real caring nature that exuberates through your communications and efforts to achieve the best outcomes for your patient.
Communication of course is critical in this role, both written and verbal, professionally to both patients and healthcare professionals, with a personal touch for your patients. Organizational ability will also be a high priority for employers looking to find a successful Patient Access Rep to join their team.
You also must be a critical thinker – any errors in the patient access process can have serious implications legally and to a patient’s health, so this skill is essential.
How Can I Get Started as a Patient Access Rep?
A bachelor’s degree is generally preferred but not required by all hospitals. At entry-level, an associate’s degree is not officially required, but ideal to standout against candidate competition.
Experience is certainly beneficial in the role of a Patient Access Rep, but if you’re entry-level, where do you start?
Of course, the more experienced you are, the more valuable you become to employers. But with a variation of contracts available, you could be signing for permanent placements, short-term contracts to boost your experience, or even temporary roles that get your foot in the door and boost your professional network in the industry.
What are you waiting for? Submit your resume and we’ll kickstart your career in Patient Access Reps.