How to Become a Patient Access Representative in California

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How to Become a Patient Access Representative in California

A lot of patients need support during their treatment, which is offered by specialized staff known as patient access representatives.

Patient access representatives work with patients and healthcare providers to provide clear information and emotional support.

In California, there is a high demand for patient access representatives.

If you feel this is the right path for you, we have brought you an article that will help you learn more about it.

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So, what are the steps to becoming a patient access representative in this state?

Steps to Becoming a Patient Access Representative in California

Just like any other profession, the path to becoming a patient access representative entails a series of steps that need to be followed to secure employment.

The steps to becoming a PAR are listed below.

1. Completion of Education

To begin, obtaining a high school diploma or GED is the minimum educational requirement for this occupation.

However, if you aspire to have a higher income, it is advisable to consider obtaining an Associate’s Degree.

Although a college degree is not mandatory for this position in California, having one will distinguish your resume.

While there is no specialized degree for this role, the recommended options include a healthcare administration degree or an assistance degree.

Some candidates may even possess a Bachelor’s Degree.

These degrees vary in terms of duration of study (between 2 to 4 years), cost of education, career advancement opportunities, and specific career paths available.

2. Certification Acquisition

Currently, there are no certification or licensing requirements for patient access representatives in California.

However, at the national level, several certifications are available for individuals aspiring to become patient access representatives.

Some of the certifications to consider include:

  • 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)

Obtaining any of these certifications will enhance your chances of securing the desired position.

The most relevant certification for a patient access representative is the CHAA offered by the National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM).

This certification exam covers various topics such as customer service, patient access services, and regulatory standards.

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) also offers two certifications, CMAA and CEHRS.

All these certifications hold national recognition. It’s important to note that specialized training programs must be completed to obtain these certifications.

3. Professional Experience

Relevant job experience is crucial for obtaining a position in the medical field, and it is beneficial for a patient access representative role if your previous work experience is somehow related.

Examples of related jobs include record keeping, data entry, medical software, and billing.

Starting early in gaining experience is advisable, and one of the best ways to begin is by seeking employment or volunteering at local hospitals or other healthcare facilities.

Additionally, you can gain the necessary training through your current job, especially if it’s in a related field.

Training Programs for Patient Access Representatives in California

So, let’s explore the training options available for future patient access representatives in this state.

Penn Foster Career School

The institution offers an approved online training program for patient access representatives.

This program covers essential topics such as:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Body Systems
  • Medical Coding
  • Electronic Medical Records

The duration of the program is approximately 6 to 9 months, making it suitable for people who prefer online classes.

It goes without saying that the course is accredited.


Its online training program for Patient Access Representatives offers a comprehensive curriculum covering crucial areas such as medical terminology, coding, and other essential skills.

Opting for an online learning platform provides you with the flexibility to customize your education based on your schedule, enabling you to strike a harmonious balance between your career aspirations and personal life commitments.

University of Phoenix University of Phoenix logo.png

This educational establishment offers a unique advantage by providing a learning environment embedded within the healthcare sector.

This distinctive approach ensures that students not only acquire theoretical knowledge but also gain valuable practical experience in the field as patient access representatives.

By opting to pursue your training through a healthcare institution, you will be equipped with the necessary skills and expertise to excel in your role right from the beginning.

This immersive learning experience prepares you for the challenges and demands of the patient access representative position, enabling you to make a seamless transition into your professional career.

School Name Address
NAHAM online
Penn Foster Career School online
University of Phoenix online
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Salaries for Patient Access Representatives in California

Naturally, one would be interested in understanding the potential salary once employed in their chosen field.

In California, the median annual salary for a patient access representative is influenced by factors such as experience level, location of employment, educational background, and other relevant considerations.

The annual income a patient access representative receives is around $55,905.

Below are the cities in California where the income tends to be higher.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Campbell $63,059
San Jose $63,059
Atherton $62,878
Belvedere Tiburon $62,808
San Francisco $62,808
Burlingame $62,305
Alameda $61,836
Alamo $61,694
Oakland $61,300
Walnut Creek $61,260

Regional Salary in California

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bakersfield, CA410$52,860$25.41$90,960$33,180
Chico, CA100$58,160$27.96$90,910$34,300
El Centro, CA80$48,010$23.08$80,930$31,260
Fresno, CA580$52,240$25.11$81,420$33,010
Hanford-Corcoran, CA40$47,700$22.93$58,870$31,660
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA8,290$67,880$32.63$101,120$37,120
Madera, CA90$55,130$26.51$78,370$36,540
Merced, CA90$43,650$20.99$57,990$30,970
Modesto, CA310$49,150$23.63$63,220$35,360
Napa, CA60$55,260$26.57$71,940$38,100
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA350$54,650$26.27$98,520$29,970
Redding, CA80$53,270$25.61$105,000$30,880
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA1,710$65,800$31.63$97,510$34,780
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA1,300$73,810$35.49$102,180$37,790
Salinas, CA150$51,610$24.81$66,720$38,380
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA1,630$57,990$27.88$91,380$36,080
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA2,630$73,800$35.48$107,530$43,670
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA1,070$71,090$34.18$105,370$44,500
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA90$50,340$24.2$73,450$30,070
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA120$55,490$26.68$102,500$35,040
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA220$55,240$26.56$93,510$30,850
Santa Rosa, CA180$62,520$30.06$81,870$38,070
Stockton-Lodi, CA380$67,490$32.45$99,710$35,910
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA230$62,770$30.18$82,910$38,660
Visalia-Porterville, CA190$49,190$23.65$75,040$32,960
Yuba City, CA40$48,630$23.38$74,410$34,750
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Medical Records Specialists, OCC Code 29-2072, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are patient access representative jobs in demand in California?

Yes, California is a large state and the demand for patient access representatives is rather high.

More job openings for this occupation are expected to take place in the next decade as well.

What skills do I need to work as a patient access representative in California?

These are some of the best skills to have for a PAR job:

  • Interpersonal,
  • Problem-solving,
  • Organization,
  • Computer
  • General office

Where can I find a PAR job in California?

There are many places needing patient access representatives, such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Insurance companies
  • Public health clinics
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Doctors’ offices

USA Patient Access Representative by State

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