In the medical field, many patients require additional assistance throughout their treatment process.
This support is provided by dedicated specialists referred to as patient access representatives.
Patient access representatives hold a critical role in facilitating effective communication between patients, healthcare providers, and insurance companies, ensuring the accurate transmission of information.
Through this article, we seek to aid you in determining if embarking on a career as a patient access representative in Tennessee aligns with your aspirations.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Steps to Becoming a Patient Access Representative in Tennessee
- 2 Training Schools for Patient Access Representatives in Tennessee
- 3 Salaries for Patient Access Representatives in Tennessee
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Steps to Becoming a Patient Access Representative in Tennessee
Before you can get hired, there are some steps you have to take.
But, what are these steps?
1. Complete Your Education
Like many other careers, that of a patient access representative also has a few requirements.
The first of them is being a high school graduate.
If this is not possible, then you definitely need a GED.
This means you’re at least 18 years old.
Most candidates for this position choose to earn an Associate’s Degree diploma, though this is not mandatory.
Such a program has a duration of 2 years.
A part of these candidates choose to study further and earn a Bachelor’s Degree, even if the program’s duration is 4 years.
2. Become Certified
Acquiring a certification can set you apart from other candidates and demonstrate to potential employers that you possess the necessary skills for the job.
To obtain a certification, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent, along with other requirements depending on the chosen certification.
Here are your options:
- 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)
To take the exam, you need one year of experience in the medical or financial field or completion of a patient access representative training program accredited by the NAHAM.
Additionally, you must complete 30 hours of professional contact within the last 2 years, except if you have an associate’s degree from an accredited college.
For the advanced CHAM certification, you must have experience in the field or hold a bachelor’s degree in a related medical field.
Two years of management experience in finance or the medical field and 90 professional contact hours within the last 3 years are also required unless you possess a bachelor’s degree.
The Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) certification requires completion of a medical assistant program within the last 5 years or 1 year of supervised medical assistant experience within the last 3 years.
The Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) certification mandates completion of electronic health records specialist training within the last 5 years or 1 year of supervised work experience as an electronic health records specialist within the last 3 years.
3. Gain Some Work Experience
Gaining job experience is critical when searching for employment in the healthcare industry, 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 as:
- Record keeping clerk
- Data entry clerk
- Medical software clerk
- Billing and coding clerk
You can also work or volunteer at a local clinic or hospital.
Gaining job experience is essential when pursuing a career in the healthcare industry, particularly as a patient access representative.
Training Schools for Patient Access Representatives in Tennessee
Where can you find training programs for this entry-level position, I hear you ask?
Let’s find out!
This online school provides a program that prepares you for the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant exam and the Certified Electronic Health Records Specialists exam.
Finishing this program usually takes between six to nine months.
All the courses offered by this school are online.
Some subjects you will study are:
- Introduction to Allied Health
- Medical Office Procedures
- Body Systems and Medical Terminology
- Pathology and Pharmacology
- Electronic Medical Records
- Medical Billing
- Health Insurance
- Law, Ethics, and Confidentiality
Ross Medical Education Center
It operates in two Tennessee locations, Knoxville and Johnson City, and also offers online programs accessible from anywhere.
While they don’t have a specific program for patient access representatives, they provide other courses that can prepare you for this career path.
You have the option to pursue an associate’s degree in healthcare administration or become a medical billing administrative specialist, with these courses spanning 75 to 100 weeks.
Alternatively, you can choose a certificate program in office administration, taking 55 to 70 weeks, or medical insurance billing and office administration, which is completed in 30 weeks.
Upon completing your chosen course, you’ll have the opportunity to partake in an internship, gaining valuable real-world experience.
Academy of Allied Health Careers
This institution is located in Chattanooga.
It offers a 9-week course in Medical Administrative Assistant/Electronic Health Records Specialist.
|Academy of Allied Health Careers||5600 Brainerd Rd C3, Chattanooga, TN 37411|
|Ross Medical Education Center||206 N Seven Oaks Dr, Knoxville, TN 37922|
Salaries for Patient Access Representatives in Tennessee
Many people naturally wonder about the potential income they can earn once they land their dream job.
In Tennessee, the median yearly salary for patient access representatives is around $46,595.
Keep in mind that this figure can be impacted by factors like your work experience.
For more detailed information, please refer to the table below.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Frequently Asked Questions
Does my certification need renewal?
Nationally-recognized certifications usually need renewal.
How often this must be done depends on the institution issuing the certification.
What skills do I need to work as a patient access representative in Tennessee?
These are some of the best skills to have for a PAR job:
- Customer service
- General office
- Being calm
How does my salary as a PAR in Tennessee compare to other states?
In Tennessee, 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.