If you've ever been to the hospital, you've likely dealt with a patient access specialist. Patient access specialists (PAS) are typically the first point of contact. Their job is to help, direct, and comfort the patient. Often, a PAS will be responsible for scheduling, billing, and taking you to your appointment. They are also responsible for calling the insurance company, getting your messages to the doctor, and being there to generally answer any question you may have. Portland Community College is proud to offer training to anyone looking to join the profession.
How do patient access specialists impact lives? Here are seven ways patient access specialists make hospital visits easier and more satisfying:
1. Patient access specialists greet you with a friendly smile
It may seem like nothing, but for some patients, a warm smile at the front desk can make all the difference in how comfortable they are at their appointment. Patient access specialists are trained to greet patients with compassion and provide support where the patient needs it.
2. They talk to the insurance companies (so you don't have to)
Sometimes it can feel like you need a degree in insurance to figure out your policy. Patient access specialists talk to your insurance provider before every appointment and make sure your care is covered. If there are any issues, it's their job to explain your policy and help you understand your care.
3. Patient access specialists are there to answer questions
Sometimes we forget to ask our doctor a question or simply don't want to take up any more of their time. While a patient access specialist can't answer medical questions, they can help you understand your follow-up care directions and direct any questions they can't answer back to your doctor.
4. They're your point of contact for scheduling appointments
Do you need to get to the doctor right away? Do you need to reschedule? Patient access specialists sift through hundreds of appointments to find the slot that works best for you. Plus, they usually make reminder calls in case you lost your appointment card.
5. They help you with your bill
No one likes dealing with billing, but patient access specialists make the process easier. Patient access specialists help you understand your bill, process insurance information, and are often the ones you talk to if you call up with questions about your bill. If you're having trouble paying, a PAS can work with you to find alternate payment options or help you apply for assistance.
6. Patient access specialist double-check your work
Going to the doctor usually requires filling out pages of paperwork. The patient access specialist is the one that not only hands you the paperwork, they also review it for completeness, enter the information into the system, and help you with any questions.
7. Their sole job is to make your appointment easier
The number one job of a patient access specialist is to provide patient care. They may not have a medical degree, but their job is to take care of you and your family. You should leave the hospital feeling like you have all the answers you need.
Discover a new career as a patient access specialist
Does a patient access specialist sound like something you want to do? At PCC we offer training and industry-recognized certification through our Patient Access Specialist program. The program proves in-depth training from highly qualified PCC professors and is offered in a flexible online format. Our Patient Access Specialist program takes just two to three terms to complete, meaning you can be starting your new career as a patient access specialist this time next year. Ready to learn more? Visit our Patient Access Specialist career path to get started.