Patient Services Representative
Healthcare is a fast-growing industry, expected to add about 2.3 million new jobs by the year 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) . Many people may assume that clinical occupations, like nursing, will be at the root of that increase. However, there is also an ever-increasing demand for qualified employees in healthcare support occupations, including Patient Services Representatives. Here we'll go over the basic details of this occupation and how earning a Health Services Administration Bachelor's Degree with Bryant & Stratton College can help you get qualified to begin a career as a Patient Services Representative.
What is a Patient Services Representative?
A patient representative serves as the first point of contact for patients when they enter a medical facility. They greet and check-in patients, get patient information, collect payments, assist with necessary paperwork, and fulfill other customer service or administrative duties. Also commonly referred to as medical secretaries, medical assistants, or medical administrative assistants, these professionals work in medical facilities, clinics, and other health care offices.
Job Responsibilities of Patient Services Representatives
The workplace responsibilities of Patient Services Representatives vary to some degree from one employment setting to another. They often vary from one state to another as well, depending upon healthcare laws and regulations in each individual state. However, there are some general duties that most people holding this position are expected to perform, including:
- Welcome and direct patients
- Field patient questions
- Assist patients with paperwork
- Manage patient complaints and feedback
- Supervise patient intake procedures
- Collect and verify patient information and insurance coverage
- Manage written, verbal and electronic communications
- Patient scheduling
- Coordinate clinic/office/facility operations
- Payment/Copayment collection
- Maintenance of patient charts and or electronic health records (EHRs)
In some employment settings, Patient Services Representatives may also assist in or manage the medical billing process, among other administrative duties.
Where Patient Services Representatives Work
Patient Services Representatives are employed by medical facilities and offices. They may work in acute-care hospitals, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities or clinics. They may be employed in the offices of primary care physicians, specialists, dentists, optometrists, physical therapists, or chiropractors. Basically, most any medical facility or medical professional who has a steady flow of patients to manage requires the services of a Patient Services Representative to keep their operations running smoothly.
According to the BLS, the career outlook for healthcare support positions is favorable. While the agency does not provide figures on Patient Services Representatives specifically, it predicts a 22 percent job growth rate for all healthcare support positions, and a 29 percent job growth rate for medical assistants. Both of these rates are well above the average for all occupations.
That said, it is important to note that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities and is not to be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Neither BLS nor Bryant & Stratton College can guarantee employment in this or any other field of work.
About The Health Services Administration Bachelor's Degree
Earning a BS Health Services Administration degree with Bryant & Stratton College will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need for success as a Patient Services Representative. This career-focused degree program provides students with a comprehensive foundation in health-related knowledge and concepts, as well as in health services and facilities management, including the financial and legal aspects of healthcare, information systems, and the theory and practices used in administrative and managerial roles in the healthcare industry.
As you work your way through this degree program, you will take course in healthcare terminology, healthcare finance, accounting courses and learn about healthcare data and safe guarding patient information including discussion of electronic health records. These and other areas of study within this degree program can increase your value to potential employers and prepare you for a successful career as a Patient Services Representative.
While some entry-level Patient Services Representative positions with some employers may be accessible with a less advanced degree, a diploma or even on the job training, a growing number of employers are requiring applicants to hold a bachelor degree to get a start in this field. For that reason, earning this degree is an important step in launching a solid career as a Patient Services Representative, as well as in advancing that career as you gain workplace experience.
Depending upon the state you live in and the specific employer you wish to work for, there may be additional training and requirements involved in becoming a Patient Services Representative. In most cases, applicants for this job will be required to undergo background checks before being hired, as well as drug testing, since these steps are required for employment in virtually all healthcare or clinical settings.
Additionally, some employers may require applicants to hold Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification, which is obtained by passing an exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). CMA Certified individuals must take continuing education courses in clerical skills and medical office administration throughout their careers to keep their certification valid. This certification may be worthwhile to pursue even if it is not required by your particular employer as a means of opening the door to career advancement. These certifications would be obtained outside of the college. The Health Services Administration bachelor’s degree program does not lead to a professional certification. External study and testing is required to obtain professional certification.
Bryant & Stratton College’s programs are education programs and the college makes no representations regarding whether a particular program will qualify a graduate for employment in any specific position, is necessary for attaining any such position, or whether potential employers may require additional training, certification or education. Before enrolling in a program, applicants are encouraged to consult with any relevant agency or employer with which he/she may wish to seek employment for a complete list of position requirements and pre-requisites.
For more information on launching a career in the healthcare field, please visit the healthcare degree section on the Bryant & Stratton College blog. By exploring our blog and our website, you will find further career insights, including greater detail on the BS Health Services Administration degree program and lots of other information that can help you plan a solid career path, then put that plan into action.