Are you thinking of applying for a patient account representative job?
If you have a head for figures and strong customer service skills, this job could be perfect for you. Patient account representatives are mainly tasked with managing patient accounts for clinics and hospitals.
Before you dive right in and apply for a job, make sure you have the necessary skills and character traits. This can be a rather frustrating and challenging job if you do not have the right personal tools at your disposal.
Let’s take a look at a typical patient account representative job description and the usual demands of this job.
- Patient Account Representative Job Description
- Typical Patient Account Representative Duties and Responsibilities
- Key Patient Account Representative Skills
- Patient Account Representative Education Requirements
- The Work Environment
- Resume Writing Tips And Tricks
- Final Thoughts
Patient Account Representative Job Description
A typical job description for a patient account representative will provide an overview of the role. This will include the daily duties that you would be expected to perform. This is likely to include managing patient accounts and taking care of all billing matters.
The job description will cover the working environment, the length of the contract, and the base salary. It will include the types of skills that the ideal candidate needs to have. This will help you to figure out if you are suited to the job and want to apply for it.
Typical Patient Account Representative Duties and Responsibilities
Much of this role involves sitting at a computer for several hours at a time. While this is ideal for some people, others may find it difficult to sit still and focus. Here are some of the key daily duties and responsibilities of a patient account representative.
Maintaining patient records
You need to make sure that patient records are accurate at all times and reflect the full picture. This includes regularly adding details of the latest diagnoses and treatments. You also need to make sure that all payment and medical insurance information is up to date.
Processing patient payments and refunds
A large part of this job is handling and processing a wide range of different payment methods. When the patient has been overcharged or wrongfully charged, you need to be able to issue a refund. Be able to create suitable payment plans for patients that are based on their monthly incomes. And generate bills for patients that include their payment plan options.
Communicating with medical insurance providers
It is important to verify whether or not patient treatments are going to be covered. In many cases, the patient may believe that they are covered when this is not the case. If patients refuse to pay, you may have to contact an attorney or collection agency to start the payment collection process.
Communicating with patients
You need to be able to explain the benefits of different insurance plans to patients. A large part of this job is answering patients’ questions about unsettled medical bills, billing discrepancies, and refunds. You need to contact patients by phone, email, or letter to inform them of overdue balances.
Key Patient Account Representative Skills
It is necessary to have excellent communication and customer service skills to do this job. Certain soft skills will make performing your tasks much easier. Let’s take a closer look at the types of soft skills a patient account representative should have:
Attention to detail
It is essential to make sure that account records are accurate. You need to be able to identify medical coding mistakes, typing errors, and patient underpayments or overpayments and make the right adjustments.
If there is an inconsistency in the records, you need to be able to work out what went wrong. It may be important to do this quickly when there are deadlines. Therefore, it is essential to be able to work efficiently under pressure. You need to be willing to stick with a problem until it has been successfully resolved.
You are likely to have a large number of tasks to complete each day. You need to be able to prioritize tasks to make sure everything gets done on time. To contact certain patients, it may be necessary to call them at a particular time of day.
You should have a good understanding of all Microsoft Office applications. This includes being able to create spreadsheets and import data into them. You may also need to be able to use PowerPoint to create presentations of account information.
Strong Math Skills
You need to be able to accurately work out exactly how much different patients owe. This can be tricky if they have received multiple treatments and different types of medications. The task will be further complicated if their medical insurance provider only covers a certain percentage.
Patient Account Representative Education Requirements
It is possible to start working as a patient account representative when you have a college diploma. However, employers tend to prefer you to complete college coursework in healthcare or business. Useful courses to take include basic accounting, healthcare law, medical terminology, customer service, and financial management.
If you want to take your career to the next level, it is best to gain certification through a trade organization. There are several organizations to choose from, such as the Healthcare Financial Management Association.
This will provide you with a Certified Revenue Cycle Representative, while some states offer a Certified Patient Account Representative course.
Pass a formal exam…
The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management also offers a range of different designations, such as Certified Patient Account Technician. Alternatively, the Medical-Dental-Hospital Business Associates offers the Certified Patient Account Specialist designation. No matter which option you choose, you will need to complete specified coursework and pass a formal exam.
The Work Environment
This role typically takes place in an office setting, and you will often need to sit for long periods. You will usually work in a hospital, a doctor’s office, a clinic, or another type of medical facility. You may also interact with patients in person and via the phone to resolve billing issues.
This is usually a full-time role, and most patient account representatives work around forty hours a week. This usually takes place on weekends during typical office hours. However, you may be required to work irregular hours occasionally to catch patients when they are free.
Resume Writing Tips And Tricks
We all know how important a great resume is when applying for a job, so take a look at our advice on How To List Education On A Resume, the Most Important Skills To Put On A Resume, and Motivation Letter Writing Guide, as well as Job Titles On Resume, How To List References On A Resume, and Achievements To List On Your Resume, or even our Hobbies Interests To Put On Resume, or How To Write A Letter of Interest, and How To Address A Cover Letter to get you started.
Furthermore, we found a selection of helpful online guides such as Optimize Your Resume: DOs and DON’Ts the SamNova Way, the Resume Formats book, and Resume Writing: 10 Ridiculously Simple Tips, or how about the CVs, Resumes, and LinkedIn: A Guide to Professional English, and the Marketing Yourself in the Age of Digital: CVs, Applications, Interviews, Social Media, LinkedIn.
Of course, we also have the English for Academic CVs, Resumes, and Online Profiles, or Land Your Dream Job: Join the 2% Who Make it Past Resumé Screening, the Resume Format Guide, and lastly, the How to Write an Amazing IT Resume all available online in 2023.
Ace that interview…
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If you have strong attention to detail and can focus for long periods, this job could be for you. While you do not need to have a background in medicine or accounting, strong customer service skills are essential.
This will help you interact with patients and resolve any issues with their accounts. The starting salary for a patient account representative is around $30,000 per year. This can climb to at least $35,000 over time.
Becoming certified can take on a senior position where you will be given more responsibility and a higher salary.
All the very best becoming a Patient Account Representative!