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.
Patient access specialists are frontline healthcare workers who provide routine and essential services in all medical settings. These include medical offices, hospitals, clinics and other facilities.
We’ve all faced the dread that comes with going to a doctor or hospital. And in some cases, a poor first impression is all it takes someone for someone to turn around and leave, even if it means missing out on necessary treatment. That first impression is everything - and it’s what you’ll be able to provide as a patient access specialist.
With demand on healthcare systems constantly increasing, patient access specialists are needed more than ever. This entry-level position is one of the first roles patients face upon visiting a hospital or clinic, and it offers opportunities for a long career with just one type of training needed.
Patient access specialist training can help you begin a career with many future opportunities and bring you the satisfaction of knowing you are helping others receive the care they need.
Patient access specialists are key members of the care team at hospitals, doctors’ offices, and outpatient centers. They provide outstanding patient service while helping to manage the important financial aspects of patient care.
We talked to Lisa Morrison, Director of Patient Access at Kaiser Permanente and instructor at PCC Institute for Health Professionals, about what characteristics make for a successful career as a patient access specialist. Lisa is passionate about helping students interested in the career achieve their goal of becoming a patient access specialist.
Updated Oct. 11, 2021
Patient access specialists are a vital part of the care team at almost every hospital, healthcare center and doctor’s office in the country. As the first person who patients meet, patient access specialists can immediately put patients at ease and help them have a smooth, safe healthcare experience.
However, as we saw during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also vital for helping the rest of their healthcare staff to keep things running safely while protecting their coworkers and patients alike. Because of this, the work of a patient access specialist is more important than ever to keep healthcare systems running smoothly.