Becoming a Certified Patient Account Representative
Certified Patient Account Representatives perform administrative roles in billing and payment issues for hospital patients. They accurately calculate patient invoices and effectively submit, send and record claims, payments and overdue notices. They also work as mediators to create payment plans that are acceptable to providers and affordable for patients. Their other duties include answering the billing and payment related inquiries, resolving billing problems, collecting payments, assisting patients for insurance claims and discharging other tasks as assigned.
Certified Patient Account Representatives work at variety of environments such as public and private hospitals, physicians’ offices, clinics, outpatient medical facilities, specialty medical centers, rehabilitation centers, insurance carriers etc. They may have to work on day or night shifts even in the weekends besides the regular schedules. These professionals mostly depend on telephones, computers and other information technologies to provide their services.
To qualify for the position of a Certified Patient Account Representative, the aspiring candidates must have to complete at least a high school diploma or GED. The aspirants may go for higher studies with the major coursework in mathematics, accounting, business administration or other related subjects for better job prospects in this field. However, most of the employers prefer the professionals with some experience in medical billing, collections or financial analysis.
Certification and Licensure
In USA, Certified Patient Account Representatives don’t need to be licensed or certified, yet the candidates holding certification are preferred by the employers across the country. The candidates can earn an exam-based certification from the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management and the Medical-Dental-Hospital Business Associates for this profession.
Certified Patient Account Representatives possess a wide range of traits such as knowledge in medical terminology, information technology and basic numerical calculations; understanding of various insurance policies and procedures; excellent data entry and record keeping ability; crisis management skills, empathy towards patient; ability to maintain accuracy and confidentiality; strong verbal and written communication skills; familiar with medical billing practices etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
Job outlook for a Certified Patient Account Representative remains outstanding across the USA. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise to 36 % during 2012-2022, higher than other professions. The annual average salary of a Certified Patient Account Representative was $33,820 in 2013.