Yet another “new world designation”, patient access representatives work for hospitals where their primary job is to ensure that appropriate care is being provided to hospitalized and visiting patients. They coordinate communication between patients, families, medical staff and administrative staff to ensure that they are all on the same page and that there are no issues at any end.
Working as a patient access representative means working at tier one – at this position, you are usually the first person a patient comes in contact with and it is your responsibility to make sure that he / she has sufficient information about the facility and its policies. Patient access representatives work as the prime contact in case patients or their families have any problems regarding the type or appropriateness of care given to the patient. In most cases, they double up as admissions officers as well and assist patients in filling out hospital admission forms and providing them with information regarding hospital fees.
It is important to have good people and administrative skills to work as a patient access representative. Attention to detail is also important as patient access representative have to take and record a lot of information such as allergies and other aspects of a patient’s medical profile. One also has to be a quick typist and comply with confidentiality laws.
On a typical work day, a patient access representative performs some or all of the following duties:
• Greet patients as they arrive the front desk / information center
• Take patient data such as name, age, medical history and medical complaint
• Note down information in hospital database by ensuring that accuracy measures are taken into account
• Ask patients for insurance information and verify insurance coverage
• Register patients for specifics such as treatment or hospitalization
• Arrange for immediate care to be given to patients who arrive in emergency
• Ascertain that all protocols of patient hospitalization are followed accurately
• Provide patients’ families with information on hospital procedures, policies and protocols
• Refer patients to appropriate in-house health care services
• Investigate complaints made by patients and families and ensure that they are addressed immediately
• Direct patients or families to appropriate staff members to make sure that their grievances are heard and resolved
• Provide patients with billing information and repayment terms
• Conduct intake interviews of patients in emergency once the patient is settled
• Ascertain provision of appropriate and timely hospital services such as tests
• Prepare patient discharge documentation and provide them with heads up on when to follow up