How to Become a Patient Access Representative in Oregon

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How to Become a Patient Access Representative in Oregon

In the realm of healthcare, many patients require additional support during their treatment journey.

This invaluable assistance is provided by dedicated professionals known as patient access representatives.

Patient access representatives play a crucial role by facilitating communication between patients and healthcare providers, ensuring that patients receive accurate information and the necessary emotional support they require.

In this article, we will provide insights that can assist you in determining if this is a career path you wish to pursue in Oregon.

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Steps to Becoming a Patient Access Representative in Oregon

You will need to complete some steps before becoming a patient access representative in this state.

But, what are these steps?

Complete Your Education

To start a career as a patient access representative, you just need your high school diploma or GED.

When aiming for a higher income, obtaining an Associate’s Degree is worth considering, as discussed later in this article.

While a college degree is not obligatory for the patient access representative position in Oregon, having one can significantly enhance the competitiveness of your resume.

Specialized degrees tailored specifically for patient access representatives are not available.

However, pursuing a degree in healthcare administration or a related field presents the best options.

It is important to note that some candidates may even possess a Bachelor’s Degree, although it is not a common requirement.

The primary differences between these degrees lie in the duration of study, ranging from 2 to 4 years, the financial investment required, and the potential for career advancement.

Ultimately, the choice of degree depends on how far you envision yourself progressing in your career path and the specific direction you aspire to pursue within the field.

Become Certified

As of now, there are no licensing requirements for future patient access representatives in Oregon.

But, at the national level, you can choose from several certifications, which are:

  • Certified Healthcare Access Associate (CHAA)
  • Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM)
  • Certified Healthcare Access Manager (CHAM)
  • Certified Professional Biller (CPB)
  • Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS)
  • Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
  • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
  • Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS)

Getting a certification can offer an advantage when seeking to get hired.

Among the certifications mentioned, the CHAA certification offered by the National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM) is particularly well-suited for this role.

The CHAA certification features subjects like customer service, patient access services, and regulatory standards, ensuring that certified professionals possess the necessary expertise.

Another option is pursuing The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certifications.

These certifications are the CMAA and CEHRS.

Please note that these certifications can only be acquired by completing specialized training programs designed for each certification.

Gain Work Experience

Getting job experience is critical when searching for employment in healthcare, especially as a patient access representative.

Relevant work experience will make you eligible for the job you are looking for.

To accumulate work experience, you can work in:

  • Record keeping
  • Data entry
  • Medical software
  • Billing

You can also work or volunteer at a local clinic or hospital.

Training Schools for Patient Access Representatives in Oregon

So, where can you get trained in Oregon?

Portland Community College Portland Community College

It offers a comprehensive Patient Access Specialist certificate and training program, equipping students with valuable skills and knowledge relevant to the industry.

Upon successful completion of the paid training, students are fully prepared to take the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) or Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS) certificate exams.

The training course typically spans a minimum of two months, but students commonly take around three terms to complete the program.

As Portland Community College follows a three-semester system each year, the training duration is approximately one to one and a half years.

Regarding the course cost, the tuition amounts to $1,598, excluding any class materials.

Students are required to acquire the Medical Terminology Online textbook for an additional $249.

Depending on the class, there might be supplementary books necessary, which could add to the overall cost.

However, please note that financial student aid is not available for this specific coursework, as it is not a degree program.

The training comprises three instructor-facilitated online classes, namely: Medical Terminology Online, Patient Access Specialist I, and Patient Access Specialist II.

These courses are designed to provide comprehensive preparation for the Certified Healthcare Admissions Associate (CHAA) exam.

Penn Foster Career School Penn Foster for Organizations

This institution offers an accredited online training program for patient access representatives.

Some of the topics covered in class are:

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

This program has a duration of 6 to 9 months.

School Name Address
Portland Community College 12000 SW 49th Avenue. Portland, or 97219-7132
Penn Foster Career School online
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Salaries for Patient Access Representatives in Oregon

It is natural to have a keen interest in knowing the potential salary one can expect after securing a job they have been striving for.

In Oregon, the median annual salary for a patient access representative (PAR) is approximately $50,959 per year.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to be aware that this figure can be impacted by several factors, including your level of experience, the particular location of your workplace, and your educational background.

To gain a clearer understanding, please refer to the table below for more insights.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Bates $52,719
Oregon $52,601
Portland $52,347
Beaverton $52,347
Gresham $52,280
Oregon City $52,148
Cornelius $52,079
Dufur $51,844
Salem $49,627
Eugene $49,452

Regional Salary in Oregon

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bend-Redmond, OR110$49,580$23.84$61,460$37,730
Corvallis, OR100$59,920$28.81$77,970$42,340
Eugene, OR260$56,770$27.3$82,240$36,080
Grants Pass, OR40$51,990$25$63,840$34,660
Medford, OR130$45,940$22.09$60,480$36,400
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA1,250$56,980$27.39$81,980$39,420
Salem, OR220$50,180$24.13$67,670$37,550
* 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

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

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

Do I need to renew my certification?

Nationally-recognized certifications usually need renewal.

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

How does my salary as a PAR in Oregon compare to other states?

In Oregon, PARs earn less compared to the median salary at the national level.

Despite all this, patient access representatives hold entry-level jobs and earn more than other professionals with similar jobs.

USA Patient Access Representative by State

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