How to Become a Hospital Patient Access Representative

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A hospital patient access representative works to streamline the process of checking patients into a hospital. A patient access representative should be able to handle several tasks at the same time, adhere to strict guidelines and stay calm in stressful situations. Becoming a hospital patient access representative is not difficult if you meet the criteria.

Make sure the job fits. If you’re a calm, compassionate person, working as a patient access representative may be a good fit. You’re one of the first faces a person in crisis will see as he enters the hospital and will be the first person he works with as he checks in. The job involves a variety of tasks, and every case is slightly different.

Earn your diploma. To be eligible to be hired as a patient access representative you must possess a minimum of a high school education. Employers sometimes seek candidates with some college training. Among the previous experience that may help you land a job are work in a doctor’s office and knowledge of insurance practices.

Prepare for the job. As a patient access representative you will be the person who performs pre-certification, indicating who is going to pay for the hospital visit. This can be a stressful situation for a patient who simply wants to be seen by a physician and for a family who is concerned about the patient. In the midst of their anxiety you must gather the information you need pertaining to the patient’s identification, condition and insurance or credit card information. In the meantime, the hospital may ask you to assist with other tasks like answering the phone and assisting with scheduling.

Make sure the income is in keeping with the expectations of the job. You can expect to be paid in the $12-to-$13-an-hour range as a patient access representative. If you work full time, this hourly wage translates to between $24,960 and $27,040 a year. In addition, full-time hospital workers routinely receive health and dental benefits, life insurance, vision care, long-term disability insurance, educational assistance and a retirement plan. Some patient access representatives are able to choose whether they wish to work part time or full time. Check the benefits available at your hospital, as some offer pro-rated benefits to part-time employees.

Check job boards. Patient representative jobs are posted on hospital websites as well as online job boards. If you wish to work for a particular hospital, check their website first. You can widen your search by moving on to other job boards if there's nothing currently available at the hospital of your choice.

Follow the application steps requested by the hospital. They will ask for a resume and want to know about any experiences you have that might make you a good fit for the job, including any former jobs that would indicate that you work well with people, can organize several things at once and can easily adjust to the hospital's way of doing things. If you're a good fit, you might hear from them for an interview.

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About the Author

Dana Sparks has been a professional writer since 1990. As a staff reporter, she has written hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, and she is also the author of two published novels. Sparks holds a Bachelor of Arts in business.

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