How Can I Become a Patient Service Representative?
Research what it takes to become a patient service representative. Learn about job duties, education requirements, average wages and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Health Care Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Career Information At a Glance
Patient service representatives work in medical offices and hospitals to assist patients and their families with paperwork questions and billing issues. The following chart gives you an overview about becoming a patient service representative.
|Degree Required||Bachelor's degree|
|Education Field of Study||Retail, health administration or other service-related field|
|Key Responsibilities||Act as liaison between patient and health care providers; handle patient concerns about care and treatment; conduct investigation into patient complaints and advise patient of results; refer patient to community resources and services|
|Job Growth (2012-2022)||13% for all customer service representatives*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$45,945**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com
What Do Patient Service Representative Do?
A patient representative welcomes a patient into a health care setting, explains what he or she can expect from the physician's office or hospital visit and helps the patient complete any necessary paperwork, such as for insurance or billing.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that these professionals collect patient information, verify its accuracy and then direct visitors to the appropriate department for treatment or tests. In this role, you may work with accounting and billing departments to help patients who are having difficulty paying their medical bill by offering payment options. However, in a smaller doctor's office you may process all paperwork on your own.
What Skills and Training Do I Need?
As a patient representative, you should work well with others and have a calming bedside manner. You should have knowledge of basic medical office procedures and medical terminology. You need to be proficient in medical reimbursement billing and bookkeeping if your duties include handling a medical office's finances. You also need to be tactful, discreet and trustworthy since you have access to confidential health information.
While most patient representatives are trained on the job, you may find better job prospects of you have a background in office work, customer service, medical billing or reception. Salary.com reported as of 2015 that many workers in this field encounter employers seeking candidates with a relevant bachelor's degree.
Patient representatives usually work in clean, well-lit environments in hospitals or physicians' offices. They usually work normal hours, but they may need to work evenings or weekends.
What's My Salary Potential and Job Outlook?
According to Salary.com, the median salary of patient representatives was $45,945 as of January 2015. The BLS estimated that all customer service representatives would experience a 13% job growth for the period 2012 through 2022. Those working in health care and social assistance would see a much higher growth, of nearly 30%, in that same period.
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