Many patients need some form of support while receiving their treatment.
This support comes from specialized personnel called patient access representatives.
These people work with both patients and their healthcare providers so the former will receive clear information and proper emotional support.
Through this presentation, I hope to shine some light on this occupation and help you decide if you want to become a patient access representative in Alabama.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Steps to Becoming a Patient Access Representative in Alabama
- 2 Training Schools for Patient Access Representatives in Alabama
- 3 Salaries for Patient Access Representatives in Alabama
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Steps to Becoming a Patient Access Representative in Alabama
Just like with any other job, that of a patient access representative also has a series of steps to follow if you want to get hired.
Let’s have a look at them!
1. Complete Your Education
You need first a high school diploma or GED, to begin with.
This is the minimum educational requirement for this occupation.
However, if you want a better income, about which I will talk later on, you should consider earning an Associate’s Degree as well.
In Alabama, this position doesn’t require a college degree, but earning one will make your resume stand out.
Sadly, there’s no specialized degree for this kind of job.
Your best choices are either a healthcare administration degree or an assistance degree.
You’ll notice that some candidates might even have a Bachelor’s Degree.
The differences between these types of diplomas are:
- The time spent studying to get them – from 2 to 4 years
- The amount of money you have to spend on your education
- How far on the career ladder you want to go
- What direction you can pursue on said ladder
2. Become Certified
Currently, Alabama has no certification or licensing requirements.
At the national level, there are a few certifications available for those who want to become a patient access representative.
Here are some of the qualifications you can earn:
- Certified Healthcare Access Associate (CHAA)
- Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM)
- Certified Healthcare Access Manager (CHAM)
- Certified Professional Biller (CPB)
- Certified Billing & Coding Specialist (CBCS)
- Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
- Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
- Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS)
Any of these will be useful for landing the position you want.
The best-suited certification for a patient access representative is the CHAA offered by the National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM).
The certification exam covers topics such as customer service, patient access services, and regulatory standards.
Two other certifications, CMAA and CEHRS, are offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
The best part about all the certifications mentioned above is that they’re recognized at the national level.
Be aware that these certifications can be obtained only by those who attended specialized training programs.
3. Job Experience
Having some job experience is very important to land a job in the medical field.
For this specific position, you’ll want your previous work experience to be still related somehow.
For instance, you can consider one of these other jobs:
- Record keeping
- Data entry
- Medical software
The best way to start is by getting hired or even volunteering at a local hospital or even another type of healthcare facility.
It should be mentioned though that this step should start as early as possible.
Additionally, you can find the training you need through the job you have.
Training Schools for Patient Access Representatives in Alabama
Let’s have a look at the training options for a future patient access representative in Alabama.
Clarivate offers an online package course for $349 for this profession.
There are 25 courses included, some of which are:
- Medical Necessity Basics
- Insurance Basics
- Registration Basics
- Financial Counseling Basics
- Critical Data Elements
The package includes the certification and the recertification exams as well.
Penn Foster Career School
This career also offers an online training program that is accredited.
Some topics include:
- Medical Terminology
- Medical Coding
- Electronic Medical Records
- Body Systems
It takes between 6 and 9 months to complete this program.
University of Alabama
The University of Alabama offers a well-rounded program that equips students for various healthcare environments.
Admission requires a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification.
The program generally extends over a few months.
The cost of the program depends on factors like residency status and the specific courses chosen.
Similar to the previous university, Auburn University also provides a top-notch training program for Patient Service Representatives.
Admission to the Auburn program also necessitates a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification.
The duration and cost of the program can vary, and eligible students may have access to financial aid options.
|Auburn University||1161 W. Samford Ave., Bldg. 8 Auburn, AL 36849|
|Penn Foster Career School||online|
|University of Alabama||1720 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35294|
Salaries for Patient Access Representatives in Alabama
It’s normal to want to know how much you’ll earn once you get hired for the job you’ve been preparing for.
In Alabama, the median annual salary for a PAR is around $46,429.
This figure can be influenced by how much experience you have, where you work, your education level, and other factors.
Below are the cities where income is higher.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find a PAR job in Alabama?
There are many places needing patient access representatives, such as:
- Healthcare facilities,
- Doctors’ offices,
- Insurance companies,
- Public health clinics
Here are some specific examples:
- Andalusia Health,
- Baptist Medical Center,
- Bryce Hospital,
- Hill Crest Behavioral Health,
- Jackson Hospital
- Thomas Hospital
What skills do I need to work as a patient access representative in Alabama?
These are some of the best skills to have for a PAR job:
- General office
Does my certification need renewal?
Nationally-recognized certifications usually need renewal.
How often this must be done depends on the institution issuing the certification.