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Purpose and Mission
Patient services managers are a relatively new job position, but their efforts can dramatically improve the efficiency and quality of patient care. These healthcare professionals are sometimes called healthcare access coordinators, patient accounting managers, patient services representatives, or patient care directors.
Whatever the title, these administrative experts work directly with patients, caregivers and their families to make sure that all medical practices involving patient care are implemented in accordance with government regulations and the policies of the hospital or clinic. Given that the patient services manager is typically among the first team members to interact with patients and families, they can make a lasting impression about the quality of care patients will receive at the facility.
Since it is a relatively new position, the chain of command for a patient services manager is not set in stone. Some report directly to the clinical director, COO, head of operations or similar position, others may report to a department head or VP of operations.
In most cases, patient services managers do have notable supervisory responsibilities. They are typically responsible for scheduling, evaluation and training of several patient services representatives, and are also responsible for keeping patient medical records private as mandated by law.
A patient services manager typically has at least a bachelor’s degree, most often in healthcare administration, health information management or nursing. Employers generally prefer candidates with one or more professional certifications.
Responsibilities of a Patient Services Manager
The primary job responsibilities of a patient services manager include being the first contact to explain legal information and procedures to incoming patients, caregivers and their families. Patient care reps and managers also use a variety of software programs to help with data entry tasks related to a patient admission, treatment and release.
More senior patient services managers spend more time exercising managerial skills in overseeing staff, training and hiring personnel, documenting progress in programs and services to administrators, and making sure that all relevant policies and regulations are followed.
In specific, patient care managers often: