Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Patient Access Specialist

The Patient Access Specialist program is intended for individuals new to health care who wish to work in a front-line registration position in a hospital setting. It can be completed in two terms and consists of five online, instructor-facilitated courses that provide students with the skills necessary to work in the Patient Access Services field. Students can begin either term as they are not sequential.

Topics covered include correct patient identification practices, patient safety, customer service skills, accountable care, and patient satisfaction. Students will also learn critical components of the revenue cycle and compliance issues with regulatory agencies. In addition, students will gain a basic understanding of health insurance information and healthcare reform, medical billing/claims submission process and essential medical terminology as it relates to patient identification and billing processes. After completing this program, students will have the skills and knowledge required to sit for the Certified Healthcare Admissions Associate Certification (CHAA) exam. (Certifying body for the Patient Access Certification is the National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM).

Required Courses:

Medical Terminology Online (CEU 939G) builds understanding of word parts and origins, forming medical terms, and gaining skill and comprehension in analyzing medical reports for coding and billing.

Patient Access Specialist: Health Insurance I & II Online (CEU 3364) is in two parts. The Health Insurance I course is an introduction to the world of health insurance. This instructor-facilitated online course will explore basic health insurance information, including an overview of health care reform, and review employment opportunities that involve patient access. The importance of the role of correct patient demographics, insurance and billing information. The Health Insurance II course builds on Health Insurance I and provides students a general overview of medical billing and the claims submission process. This course will familiarize students with Revenue Cycle flow from the front, middle and back end functions, as well as the various requirements of some of the major insurance carriers.

Patient Access Specialist: Accountable Care Online (CEU 3365) is in two parts. The Customer Service for Health Care portion provides participants with the basics of customer service for individuals in the health care industry. This instructor-facilitated online course provides participants with insight to use of the HCAHPS/Press Ganey survey as well as the tools to provide excellent customer service in the health care field. Students will participate in practice discussions and scenarios for age appropriate communication, dealing with patient concerns, difficult communications and teamwork. The Patient Access Specialist portion introduces students to the many roles and responsibilities encompassed by the Patient Access Services department in a hospital setting. The course will provide students with an understanding of the role of correct patient identification practices in maintaining patient safety and the need for extraordinary customer service skills in difficult situations. Study and practice lessons in preparation for passing the Certified Healthcare Admissions Associate Certification (CHAA) exam.