Patient access representatives help patients and their families in healthcare environments.
Their main duty is to make sure that they are providing top-notch care to patients.
They work in a variety of healthcare facilities including hospitals and clinics.
If you’re considering becoming a patient access representative, your first step is to weigh the pros and cons to determine if it’s a career that suits you.
If you have a passion for helping people and want to work in the medical field, this could be an exciting opportunity for you.
- Pros of Being a Patient Access Representative
- Cons of Being a Patient Access Representative
- Should You Become a Patient Access Representative?
- Pros and Cons of Being a Patient Access Representative Summary Table
Pros of Being a Patient Access Representative
Here is a list of benefits of working as a patient access representative.
1. Work with Different Types of People
A career as a patient access rep is diverse because you have to get to work with a diverse group of people.
During your time working as a patient access rep, you will come across people from different backgrounds and ages.
Every patient is unique, as they will have varying needs.
You are typically a patient’s first point of contact, which means you can really make a difference in patient’s lives.
2. Opportunity to Work in the Healthcare Field
If you’ve always dreamed about working in the healthcare field without being a medical assistant or nurse, a career as a patient access representative may be perfect.
As a patient access representative, you will be entering patient information into a computer and keeping up with records.
You will also be responsible for providing patients with billing information.
Finally, you will be responsible for answering questions and addressing concerns that patients may have.
3. Learn About Different Types of Medical Conditions
Since you will be the first point of contact for patients, you will have the opportunity to learn about different medical conditions.
Patients will come to you with questions and concerns about varying topics.
You will also be entering patient information into the system regarding their medical condition and other related matters.
This is a great way to learn about the medical field but remain on the administrative side.
4. Opportunity to Advance
Being a patient access representative opens the door to many other career opportunities.
For example, if you are considering eventually moving up the ladder, you can transition to a manager or even a supervisor.
Patient reps also train other specialists which can open a new pathway for education and community outreach positions.
There are many different directions you can go by being a patient access representative.
5. Work with a Team of People
If you enjoy working as a team, you will thrive in this field.
Many of these positions require you to work in a team environment.
If you are the type of person who prefers to work independently, you may want to reconsider this profession.
However, it’s worth mentioning that all of your responsibilities will not involve working with your team members.
6. Good Salary
The average salary for patient access reps in the United States is $41,767.
Additionally, there are plenty of opportunities to earn more through commission, bonuses, profit sharing, and tips.
These things alone could add at least $1,630 more to your salary per year.
The starting pay comes out to about $19.94 per hour, which is somewhat higher than other entry-level jobs in the same field.
7. Excellent Job Outlook
The demand for patient access representatives across the entire country is growing faster than employers can keep up.
This means that you will always find openings for patient access rep careers.
The job outlook is expected to increase between the years of 2020 and 2030 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
These numbers are comparable to their positions in the same industry.
8. Networking Opportunities Available
Depending on the state you are working in, there are plenty of networking and professional development opportunities available.
For example, in the state of California, these resources are available via local workshops, conferences, and professional organizations.
You can also network through forums and online communities.
This is a great way to stay current with varying trends within the industry.
This is helpful if you are looking to expand your career.
9. Minimal Education Required
Typically, all that’s required to become a patient access rep is a high school diploma or GED.
However, some employers may require potential candidates to have experience working in a healthcare setting.
They may also require experience in customer service positions.
Given the nature of this position, employers may sometimes prefer patient access reps to possess an associate’s degree in healthcare administration.
Cons of Being a Patient Access Representative
Unfortunately, with every career, there’s also a downside to becoming a patient access representative.
Here is a list of cons to help you make a decision on whether this is the right career path for you.
1. Requires you to Work Weekends and Holidays
One of the biggest downsides to working in the healthcare industry is that weekends and holidays are required.
And, unfortunately, this doesn’t exclude patient access representatives.
If you don’t mind working weekends or holidays sometimes, this shouldn’t be a concern for you.
However, if you feel the opposite, you may want to re-think your career path.
2. Emotionally Challenging
The work that’s required as a patient access representative includes working with families that are struggling.
You will come face to face with families going through difficult times much too often.
This can easily take an emotional toll on you.
If you plan on being a patient access representative, don’t forget to tend to yourself on a regular basis.
3. Can be Stressful
You are in charge of representing the needs of every patient that you come in contact with when working as a patient access representative.
Another downside of this job is that it can cause a lot of stress due to the impact of these duties.
Additionally, the patients that you communicate with will be stressed out as well as they are dealing with their own illness or family member’s illness.
Furthermore, you will be faced with many time-sensitive tasks which will only add to the stress of the job.
4. Deal With Difficult Patients
As with any career where you are dealing with customers, patients, or clients, you will come across those that are difficult to deal with.
The same applies to patient access representatives.
From time to time, you will come across patients who are challenging.
However, it’s important that avoid taking this personally as they have a lot on their plates.
5. Exposure to Diseases/Hazardous Materials
Another downside of becoming a patient access representative is the possibility that you may be exposed to a variety of infectious diseases and hazardous materials.
This is mainly because you will be coming in contact with sick patients on a daily basis.
However, your exposure risk isn’t as high compared to nurses and doctors who are treating patients directly.
6. Not Many Opportunities to Work Remote
If working remotely is important to you, a patient access rep may not be a good fit.
There are very limited opportunities to work from home as a patient access representative.
This is not to say that there aren’t any remote jobs available for this career.
However, they will be very challenging to find.
Additionally, you will find that there isn’t a lot of wiggle room for flexible scheduling.
Getting the hours you need to tend to personal duties may be difficult.
7. Demanding Job
If you’re looking for a relaxed job, you may want to think twice about being on this career path.
Being a patient access representative can be a demanding job.
You will be responsible for ensuring patient information that you enter is accurate.
You will also be dealing with extensive amounts of inquiries from patients.
Also, must stay current with the constant changes that are made to healthcare standards.
While these things can be challenging, they can also be rewarding.
Should You Become a Patient Access Representative?
If you’re interested in an administrative job within the healthcare industry, a patient access representative could work out for you.
There are plenty of opportunities to advance within your career following years of experience.
You can easily move on to higher-paying jobs such as coordinator or management positions.
But, you can’t leave out the cons of this profession.
Being a patient access rep also means you will deal with difficult patients and a lot of stress that can make your job emotionally challenging.
The good news is that this job can be extremely rewarding if you are passionate about helping those in need.
Pros and Cons of Being a Patient Access Representative Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Patient Access Representative||Cons of Being a Patient Access Representative|
|Work with Different Types of People||Requires you to Work Weekends and Holidays|
|Opportunity to Work in the Healthcare Field||Emotionally Challenging|
|Learn About Different Types of Medical Conditions||Can be Stressful|
|Opportunity to Advance||Deal With Difficult Patients|
|Work with a Team of People||Exposure to Diseases/Hazardous Materials|
|Good Salary||Not Many Opportunities to Work Remote|
|Excellent Job Outlook||Demanding Job|
|Networking Opportunities Available|
|Minimal Education Required|