How to Become a Patient Access Representative in Illinois

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How to Become a Patient Access Representative in Illinois

Individuals undergoing treatment heavily rely on the support provided by highly skilled professionals known as patient access representatives.

These dedicated experts serve as vital intermediaries between patients and healthcare providers, ensuring that patients receive accurate information during their medical journey.

This article aims to provide insight into the role of patient access representatives in Illinois.

Steps for Becoming a Patient Access Representative in Illinois

Do I hear you asking which route to follow if you want to become a PAR in Illinois?

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If so, then let’s find out!

1. Educational Requirements

To become a patient access representative, the minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma or GED.

Although not mandatory for this position in Illinois, obtaining a college degree can greatly enhance one’s resume and provide a competitive edge among other candidates.

While there are no specialized degree programs exclusively tailored for patient access representatives, there are other excellent options to choose from, such as pursuing a degree in healthcare administration or a related assistance program.

It’s worth noting that some professionals in this field may hold a Bachelor’s Degree, showcasing the diverse educational backgrounds within the industry.

2. Get a Certification

In Illinois, there are no specific certification or licensing requirements for patient access representatives.

Yet, acquiring national certifications can significantly enhance career prospects in this field.

There are several good certifications available for individuals aspiring to become patient access representatives.

Some notable certifications 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)

The CHAA certification is offered by the National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM) and is the best to get if you want to become a PAR.

The CHAA certification exam covers essential topics such as customer service, patient access services, and regulatory standards.

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) provides two other certifications – CMAA and CEHRS.

These certifications can be obtained through specialized training programs.

3. Work Experience

Work experience is crucial if you seek to get a job in healthcare, including working as a patient access representative.

Some work experience examples are:

  • Record keeping
  • Data entry
  • Medical software proficiency
  • Billing

Training Schools for Patient Access Representatives in Illinois

I’ll present some schools future PARs in this state can enroll in.

Chicago State University Chicago State University newest logo.svg

This school offers a program to get your Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration.

The program is split into four years of courses that take place in the fall and spring.

You also have to finish the required general education requirement in the first 24 months before starting your specialization.

Some of the courses you will take are:

  • Composition I and II
  • Intro to Psychology
  • Math: Basis Statistics and Probability
  • Physical Science
  • Human Anatomy and Lab
  • Medical Terminology
  • Intro to Health Professions
  • Humanities or Fine Arts Elective
  • Critical Thinking
  • Human Physiology and Lab
  • U.S. Diversity
  • Service Learning
  • Acute Care and Health Info Systems
  • Clinical Medicine I
  • Computers In Health Care
  • Research in Health Care and HIM
  • Health Info. Stds, Reg, and Requirement
  • Health Care Org. info Systems

The program costs $319 per credit hour, with a cost of $2,328 per semester.

Rasmussen University

This institution provides a 2-year long Healthcare Administration Specialization associate degree program.

The course is split into four sections.

The classes you need to take include:

  • Developmental Education Courses
  • General Education Courses
  • Pathway to Patient Care Seminar
  • Foundations of Medical Administration
  • Customer Service in Healthcare
  • Technology Today For Medical Administration
  • U.S. Healthcare Systems
  • Healthcare Administrative Office Procedures
  • Medical Terminology
  • Healthcare Exploration and Careers
  • Medical Law and Ethics
  • Pathophysiology

The program costs $11,738, and $56 will be spent on manuals and supplies.

Students can apply for financial aid and grants to cover the cost of tuition.

Western Illinois University Western Illinois University logo.png

This institution provides a certificate program that will help you become a successful patient access representative.

The classes available are:

  • Health Services Administration
  • Legal Aspects of Health Services Management
  • Introduction to the U.S. Health Policy
  • Health Services Organization Behavior and Leadership
  • Foundations of Emergency Management
  • Evacuation Planning and Response

The program costs $13,669 for Illinois students and $24,843 for those who reside in other areas.

School Name Address
Chicago State University 9501 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60628
Rasmussen University 385 Douglas Ave Suite #1000, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
Western Illinois University 1 University Cir, Macomb, IL 61455
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Salaries for Patient Access Representatives in Illinois

In Illinois, the salaries of patient access representatives can vary based on the specific geographic location.

On average, a PAR earns in Illinois around $52,079 per year.

The job market for patient access representatives in Illinois shows promising prospects.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field is projected to experience growth in the next decade.

Consequently, individuals aspiring to pursue a career as patient access representatives can expect a wide range of opportunities within Illinois’ thriving healthcare industry.

For a more comprehensive breakdown of salary information, please refer to the table provided below:

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Cicero $53,468
Mount Prospect $53,258
Addison $53,258
Cicago $53,005
Brookfield $52,984
Worth $52,884
Westmont $52,844
Batavia $52,703
Elgin $52,147
Darien $52,804

Regional Salary in Illinois

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bloomington, IL40$45,290$21.77$58,510$29,120
Carbondale-Marion, IL140$45,950$22.09$62,000$30,170
Champaign-Urbana, IL120$48,500$23.32$61,400$30,950
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI3,810$54,070$26$77,140$35,430
Danville, IL50$56,550$27.19$79,440$35,400
Decatur, IL40$47,490$22.83$59,000$30,280
Kankakee, IL40$52,460$25.22$81,320$28,990
Peoria, IL170$43,480$20.91$63,010$30,270
Rockford, IL190$49,000$23.56$59,090$34,540
Springfield, IL140$48,140$23.15$62,370$35,720
* 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 there benefits for becoming a PAR in Illinois?


The most important one is that you get to help others and thus feel needed if this is something important to you.

Another benefit is that this entry-level job pays much more than many others.

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

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

  • Customer service
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving,
  • Organization,
  • Computer
  • General office
  • Being calm
  • Accuracy

Does my certification need renewal?

Nationally-recognized certifications usually need renewal.

How often this must be done depends on the institution issuing the certification.

USA Patient Access Representative by State

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