Patient Access Representatives are most often the first person a patient has contact with when they visit a doctor’s office, hospital, or any other medical organization.
This representative must be able to deal with people who often feel confused and may be in pain.
It is your job to get them registered and in the system, take care of any insurance information, and direct them to where they need to go next for treatment.
You must also be the one that comforts them enough to get them to cooperate.
Assessing their condition is very important.
If you feel you have the people skills for this position, you may be considering taking a course to get your license.
Consider taking an online patient access representative training program online.
Read on to find out why.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Benefits of Online Patient Access Representative Training Programs
- 1.1 You Can Access Lessons any Time of the Day or Night
- 1.2 You Complete the Courses at a Pace That Is Comfortable for You
- 1.3 You Can Access Programs Anywhere in the Country
- 1.4 The Cost Is Often Less Than Attending In-Person Programs
- 1.5 You Have the Opportunity to Review Lessons as Often as Necessary
- 2 Drawbacks of Online Patient Access Representative Training Programs
- 3 Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Patient Access Representative Training Programs – Summary Table
- 4 What Courses Are in An Online Patient Access Representative Training Program?
- 5 Can You Earn a Patient Access Representative Certification Completely Online?
- 6 How Long Does It Take to Earn a Patient Access Representative Certification Online?
- 7 How Much Does an Online Patient Access Representative Certification Cost?
- 8 Types of Patient Access Representative Certifications
- 9 4 Self-Study Tips For Patient Access Representative Online Students
- 10 Schools Offering Online Patient Access Representative Training Programs
- 11 Final Thoughts
- 12 Frequently Asked Questions
Benefits of Online Patient Access Representative Training Programs
You Can Access Lessons any Time of the Day or Night
Work and family obligations can make fitting education into your schedule difficult.
With online learning, you will be able to fit studying into whatever hours you find comfortable.
For many people, nighttime is ideal.
You have fewer interruptions and may even find you can concentrate better at night.
This is not an option with in-person learning.
With online classes, you can do all your studying in one day a week or spread it out to an hour each day.
Your schedule is entirely up to you.
You Complete the Courses at a Pace That Is Comfortable for You
Some students take longer to process information than others.
On the other hand, other students get bored waiting for the rest of the class to catch up.
Neither is an issue with online classes.
While tests might have a set window for completion, this is normally over several days, so you don’t feel pressured.
In many cases, you take the test when you feel confident to do so.
This helps immensely with things like test anxiety.
You Can Access Programs Anywhere in the Country
If you live in an area with few or no places of higher education, you can feel limited and not be able to access the training you want.
With online classes, your classroom choices are literally only limited by the borders of the country.
If the program you feel meets your needs best is several states away, you still can participate.
If you live in a rural area, you still have the opportunity to access classes available to those in big cities.
The Cost Is Often Less Than Attending In-Person Programs
The cost in both time and money is reduced when taking an online patient access representative course.
You don’t have to spend time getting to and from classes and don’t have to deal with adverse weather conditions or traffic.
You also don’t have to worry about putting gas in your vehicle or experiencing the normal wear and tear of constant travel to and from classes.
Over time, the money and time saved really add up.
You Have the Opportunity to Review Lessons as Often as Necessary
Some people need to review information more than once in order to get it to fully stick.
With an online learning course, you have the ability to review a lesson as many times as you find necessary.
Many programs also allow lifetime access to the information.
This allows you to refresh your memory whenever needed, such as when you want to renew your license.
It also allows you to look up information that you may not use often and need to have clarified.
Drawbacks of Online Patient Access Representative Training Programs
You Need Reliable Internet Service and a Decent Computer
Access to class information is all done on the computer or a tablet or laptop.
You need to make sure your computer access equipment is in top shape and is able to handle downloading videos and other class material.
You also need to have reliable internet service.
Most places now have this, but if you are subject to bad weather conditions or live in a remote area where the internet connection is shaky, you may find yourself frustrated.
You Need to Be Able to Work Independently
There isn’t going to be anyone standing over you telling you what the next step is.
You will need to be able to work without constant instruction.
You will also need to be able to troubleshoot problems or learn where to find information that may not be readily available.
This is especially true if you do most of your studying during the night hours.
It May Take Time to Get Answers to Questions
While there will always be a professor in charge of the program, they won’t always be available.
You won’t be able to ask a question as soon as it occurs and have the answer given to you immediately.
You will need to send a message and wait for a reply, which may take a day or two.
This is also the case with feedback.
You will have to wait, which can be nerve-wracking for some people.
You Need the Ability to Set and Keep Personal Boundaries
One thing many people have trouble doing is saying “no”.
This will have to be something you need to do.
You will need to set down rules that protect your study time.
You will have to be able to tell people you can’t do something because you need to study or set up times in the future.
Not only must you enforce your boundaries with others, but you must also learn to respect them yourself.
There may be times when it is necessary to break the boundary, but these times should be very rare.
Motivation Must Come From Inside
You won’t always have someone on the sidelines encouraging you to sit down and study.
You must keep your reason for taking the course in mind so that you can work on days when there is something more fun to do or you may be a bit tired or frazzled.
It will help to identify your support system in advance and be willing to ask for encouragement when you need it.
The main source of motivation, however, will have to come from somewhere inside you.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Patient Access Representative Training Programs – Summary Table
|Benefits of Online Patient Access Representative Training Programs||Drawbacks of Online Patient Access Representative Training Programs|
|You Can Access Lessons any Time of the Day or Night||You Need Reliable Internet Service and a Decent Computer|
|You Complete the Courses at a Pace That Is Comfortable for You||You Need to Be Able to Work Independently|
|You Can Access Programs Anywhere in the Country||It May Take Time to Get Answers to Questions|
|The Cost Is Often Less Than Attending In-Person Programs||You Need the Ability to Set and Keep Personal Boundaries|
|You Have the Opportunity to Review Lessons as Often as Necessary||Motivation Must Come From Inside|
What Courses Are in An Online Patient Access Representative Training Program?
The first things you will be required to study in a patient access representative program are medical terminology and human body systems.
While you won’t be doing hands-on medical treatment of patients, it is essential that you understand these things in order to explain things to patients and direct them to the proper people.
You will then be required to take a class in medical insurance.
It will explain all the ins and outs of this subject and go over the various types of insurance forms.
It may include information on medical coding.
If it does not, you will be given a separate course on medical coding.
You will also get a course that will cover things like how to deal with patients, confidentiality, and crisis intervention.
Can You Earn a Patient Access Representative Certification Completely Online?
You can do all the bookwork regarding a patient access representative completely online.
You can’t however take your test unless you have actual experience in a medical setting.
The experience does not necessarily have to be as a patient access representative.
It only needs to be in a setting that exposes you to the kinds of paperwork, such as insurance, and involves some type of supervisory work.
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Patient Access Representative Certification Online?
In many cases, a course in patient access representation will take you two years of part-time study.
For full-time, you can expect to complete your education in six to nine months, depending on the particular program you decide upon.
How Much Does an Online Patient Access Representative Certification Cost?
While the cost of an online patient access representative certification course will vary, depending on where you study, the average cost for the entire program is $1400.
This amount does not include books or the cost of taking the certification test.
Types of Patient Access Representative Certifications
There are two types of certifications for patient access certifications.
CHAM certification requires at least two years of leadership experience, a personal reference from a supervisor, and either a 4-year degree or 90 hours of personal contact in a medical setting.
CHAA certification requires a two-year degree 30 hours of patient contact experience over a year and one personal reference from a supervisor.
4 Self-Study Tips For Patient Access Representative Online Students
1. Be consistent
You will be able to determine what times you are most likely to have the focus and energy to study.
Set a schedule for studying and keep to that schedule.
By keeping consistent, you send a message to your brain that this is the time to learn.
It also allows others to get used to you being unavailable at certain times.
2. Find a support network
It can be hard to pursue any long-term goal alone.
While you don’t need to find other students, it helps to find friends and family members who support your effort and are willing to talk with you when you are starting to doubt yourself or need to share a success.
Find your tribe and let them know you appreciate any support they are willing to offer.
3. Reward yourself
Set up little checkpoints where you allow yourself a special reward.
When you finish a tough lesson, give yourself a reward.
When you complete a course, throw a dinner for your friends.
You don’t have to make all the rewards based on major accomplishments.
You can reward yourself for actually sitting to study on a night when you feel tired or want to do something else.
The point is to be your own best support.
4. Set boundaries
It can be difficult for friends and family members to see you, or know you are near, and not want to talk or ask questions.
Set boundaries for what kind of behavior you need to be successful.
Make certain hours off-limits except for emergencies. Avoid phone calls. Stay away from social media.
Give both yourself and those around you boundaries and enforce them without fail.
Schools Offering Online Patient Access Representative Training Programs
|Penn Foster Career School||925 Oak Street Scranton, PA 18515 USA|
|National Association of Healthcare Access Management||2001 K Street NW, 3rd Floor North: Washington, DC 20006|
|California State University - San Marcos||333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road San Marcos, CA 92096 US|
|Portland Community College|
If you are looking for a career in the medical field that offers patients a chance to fear procedures less, being a patient access representative may be perfect for you.
You can access programs to help train you for this field completely online.
You can continue your normal activities and get an education with less stress than attending an in-person program.
Once you finish, it is only a matter of time before you can be the first source of understanding and comfort for those in scary medical situations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is CHAM?
CHAM is the certificate you earn when you pass the test given by the National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM).
This is the certification most accepted throughout the country that labels you as a Certified Healthcare Access Manager.
How much does the CHAM exam cost?
If you are a member of NAHAM, the CHAM test will cost you 250 dollars.
For non-members, the cost is $450.
What skills are necessary to be a successful patient access representative?
In order to be a successful patient access representative, you will need to have:
- Great communication skills, both verbal and written
- Attention to details
- Computer proficiency
- The ability to adapt quickly and problem-solve
Is certification really necessary to be a patient access representative?
There are a few places that will accept training and experience, but the majority of places, especially in bigger cities or large hospitals, will require you to be certified.
In order to advance beyond an entry position, you will definitely need certification.