A patient coordinator functions as the primary point of contact between health care professionals and patients in a medical facility. They mostly perform administrative tasks such as greeting visitors, answering calls, responding to inquiries, managing schedules, arranging appointments, processing payments, gathering information, and keeping records. Moreover, they assist in filling out forms, escorting patients to different rooms or offices, and setting treatment plans. Most importantly, they discuss and share necessary information with patients and families regarding medications, procedures, and proceeding care according to a physician's assessment.

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Patient Coordinator Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real patient coordinator resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Comply with HIPAA regulations by discreetly and professionally handling all patients private medical information.
  • Gather personal plus insurance information and perform thorough insurance breakdowns for patients.
  • Communicate directly with patients to obtain initial patient information and respond to inquiries.
  • Process and update HIPAA relate paperwork and other require institutional forms as necessary.
  • Obtain all necessary documentation prior to surgery such as proof of identification, copy of insurance and require insurance referrals.
  • Respond in writing to all grievances in accordance with CMS and DNV guidelines.
  • Enter information into MediTech and make sure signatures are obtain.
  • Order charts and immunization records from records storage.
  • Work A/R report on daily basis.
  • Prepare weekly detail logs and status reports on A/R for supervisor.
  • Create PowerPoint presentations and posters.
  • Maintain and optimize provider schedules, and perform prior-authorizations for necessary medication and radiology examinations.
  • Process radiology referrals, and obtain all necessary information from the patient and provider to ensure accuracy and completeness of referral.

Patient Coordinator Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a patient coordinator does, you may be wondering, "should I become a patient coordinator?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, patient coordinators have a growth rate described as "decline" at -2% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of patient coordinator opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is -51,600.

Patient coordinators average about $15.84 an hour, which makes the patient coordinator annual salary $32,954. Additionally, patient coordinators are known to earn anywhere from $25,000 to $41,000 a year. This means that the top-earning patient coordinators make $25,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a patient coordinator. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a patient representative, patient liaison, patient registrar, and patient care specialist.

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Patient Coordinator Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 30% of Patient Coordinators are proficient in Patients, Customer Service, and Patient Care. They’re also known for soft skills such as Listening skills, Patience, and Problem-solving skills.

We break down the percentage of Patient Coordinators that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Patients, 30%

    Verified patient insurance eligibility prior to appointments and also prepared patient charts for approximately 20 patients daily.

  • Customer Service, 11%

    Championed efforts to dramatically increase level of customer service; personally demonstrated how to deliver exceptional service throughout all patient interactions.

  • Patient Care, 6%

    Maintain heavy communications with patients, referring physicians, and other faculty and staff regarding patient care and administrative responsibilities.

  • Patient Flow, 5%

    Work with clinical team to effectively manage daily patient flow, providing communication and information to the appropriate individuals.

  • Excellent Organizational, 4%

    Keep records orderly and prioritizing tasks with excellent organizational skills.

  • Check-In, 3%

    Greeted patients at check-in, ensuring accurate demographic and insurance information.

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"patients," "customer service," and "patient care" aren't the only skills we found patient coordinators list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of patient coordinator responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Listening skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a patient coordinator to have. According to a patient coordinator resume, "representatives must listen carefully to ensure that they understand customers in order to assist them." Patient coordinators are able to use listening skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "communicated with pcp offices to collect pertinent information for new patients to file insurance claims. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many patient coordinator duties rely on patience. This example from a patient coordinator explains why: "representatives should be patient and polite, especially when interacting with dissatisfied customers." This resume example is just one of many ways patient coordinators are able to utilize patience: "maintain a high degree of patience, and patient confidentiality. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among patient coordinators is problem-solving skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a patient coordinator resume: "representatives must determine solutions to customers’ problems" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "verified insurance benefits; submitted claims both electronically and manually; and resolved insurance issues. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "communication skills" is important to completing patient coordinator responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way patient coordinators use this skill: "customer service representatives must be able to provide clear information in writing, by phone, or in person." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical patient coordinator tasks: "receive in coming telecommunications concerning scheduling, appointment confirmations, medical transcripts, and insurance claims. "
  • Yet another important skill that a patient coordinator must demonstrate is "computer skills." Customer service representatives must be adept at using computers.   This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a patient coordinator who stated: "computerized data entry of patient information from referring facility. "
  • Lastly, this career requires you to be skillful in "interpersonal skills." According to patient coordinator resumes, "representatives should be able to create positive interactions with customers." This resume example highlights how patient coordinator responsibilities rely on this skill: "provide a high level of customer service and client relations based on outstanding communication and interpersonal skills to maintain customer satisfaction. "
  • See the full list of patient coordinator skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a patient coordinator. We found that 39.7% of patient coordinators have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 4.8% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While some patient coordinators have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every five patient coordinators were not college graduates.

    The patient coordinators who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied business and health care administration, while a small population of patient coordinators studied nursing and psychology.

    When you're ready to become a patient coordinator, you might wonder which companies hire patient coordinators. According to our research through patient coordinator resumes, patient coordinators are mostly hired by Alliance HealthCare Services, Great Expressions Dental Centers, and Athletico. Now is a good time to apply as Alliance HealthCare Services has 179 patient coordinators job openings, and there are 90 at Great Expressions Dental Centers and 80 at Athletico.

    Since salary is important to some patient coordinators, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at University of California, Berkeley, University of Colorado Boulder, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. If you were to take a closer look at University of California, Berkeley, you'd find that the average patient coordinator salary is $43,725. Then at University of Colorado Boulder, patient coordinators receive an average salary of $39,918, while the salary at Massachusetts Institute of Technology is $38,808.

    View more details on patient coordinator salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire patient coordinators from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Massachusetts General Hospital, Express Employment Professionals International HQ, and Aspen Dental.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious patient coordinators are:

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    What Patient Representatives Do

    A patient representative is responsible for assisting the patients with their health care needs by identifying their medical concerns, assessing their medical history, and referring them to the appropriate physicians or other medical professionals for immediate treatments and further examinations. Patient representatives verify the patients' insurance information, guiding them on filling out medical forms, processing payments for medical services, and updating them for the release of medical results. A patient representative must have excellent communication and organizational skills, especially when responding to patient's inquiries and concerns timely and accurately, and performing additional administrative and clerical tasks as needed.

    In this section, we compare the average patient coordinator annual salary with that of a patient representative. Typically, patient representatives earn a $485 lower salary than patient coordinators earn annually.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both patient coordinators and patient representatives positions are skilled in patients, customer service, and patient care.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a patient coordinator responsibilities require skills like "medical history," "taking care," "scheduling patient appointments," and "cash control." Meanwhile a typical patient representative has skills in areas such as "strong customer service," "excellent interpersonal," "emr," and "home health." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Patient representatives tend to make the most money in the non profits industry by averaging a salary of $34,572. In contrast, patient coordinators make the biggest average salary of $33,131 in the health care industry.

    Patient representatives tend to reach similar levels of education than patient coordinators. In fact, patient representatives are 0.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.3% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Patient Liaison?

    Patient Liaisons are intermediaries addressing concerns on behalf of patients and families working in tandem with the hospital administrator. They are responsible for gathering data regarding patient care issues and inquiries, assessing patient well-being, suggesting improvements, and interpreting hospital service, policies, and procedures to patients and families. Patient Liaisons also work to educate health care professionals in humanizing the hospital experience for patients. They work in a hospital, clinic, nursing home, or programs related to public health.

    Now we're going to look at the patient liaison profession. On average, patient liaisons earn a $640 lower salary than patient coordinators a year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both patient coordinators and patient liaisons are known to have skills such as "patients," "customer service," and "patient flow. "

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real patient coordinator resumes. While patient coordinator responsibilities can utilize skills like "patient care," "excellent organizational," "check-in," and "pet," some patient liaisons use skills like "health system," "surgery," "home health," and "excellent interpersonal."

    Patient liaisons may earn a lower salary than patient coordinators, but patient liaisons earn the most pay in the health care industry with an average salary of $32,280. On the other side of things, patient coordinators receive higher paychecks in the health care industry where they earn an average of $33,131.

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, patient liaisons tend to reach similar levels of education than patient coordinators. In fact, they're 2.4% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Patient Registrar Compares

    A patient registrar is responsible for receiving patients in a hospital or other health care institutions, verifying their information, and leading them to the appropriate facility for their health care needs. Patient registrars manage the hospital's database, updating patients' information, confirming insurance details, taking calls, responding to patients' inquiries and concerns, scheduling appointments, and performing related administrative and clerical tasks as needed. A patient registrar must have excellent communication and organizational skills to provide the best quality care services to the patients.

    The third profession we take a look at is patient registrar. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than patient coordinators. In fact, they make a $540 higher salary per year.

    Using patient coordinators and patient registrars resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "patients," "customer service," and "patient care," but the other skills required are very different.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from patient coordinator resumes include skills like "excellent organizational," "check-in," "patient satisfaction," and "medical history," whereas a patient registrar might be skilled in "pbx," "insurance eligibility," "health insurance," and "surgery. "

    Patient registrars make a very good living in the health care industry with an average annual salary of $33,106. Whereas patient coordinators are paid the highest salary in the health care industry with the average being $33,131.

    Patient registrars typically study at similar levels compared with patient coordinators. For example, they're 1.2% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.5% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Patient Care Specialist

    A patient service or care specialist works at different medical facilities. Primary responsibilities include checking patients in and out, scheduling follow-up appointments as well as checking patient eligibility for services or programs. Patient service specialists should maintain a systematic referral log to correlate patient referrals to other specialists. Applicants for the job should have the basic computer knowledge to effectively manage data of patient's files, knowledge of medical terminologies, and possess good interpersonal and customer service skills.

    Now, we'll look at patient care specialists, who generally average a higher pay when compared to patient coordinators annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $1,203 per year.

    According to resumes from both patient coordinators and patient care specialists, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "patients," "customer service," and "patient care. "

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a patient coordinator might have more use for skills like "excellent organizational," "check-in," "pet," and "taking care." Meanwhile, some patient care specialists might include skills like "cpr," "emr," "departmental policies," and "home health" on their resume.

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The health care industry tends to pay more for patient care specialists with an average of $32,483. While the highest patient coordinator annual salary comes from the health care industry.

    Patient care specialists reach similar levels of education when compared to patient coordinators. The difference is that they're 0.2% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 0.2% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.