Patient Access Specialist

patient access specialist administrator

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Summer 2024

Dates to remember:

  • Program start date: July 3, 2024
  • Registration deadline: May 29, 2024

Train online to become a Patient Access Specialist and gain industry-recognized certification.

A patient access specialist is a front-line registration position and is often the first face someone sees when they enter a hospital, clinic, or specialized medical department. A patient access specialist can fall under many different job titles including the following: registration representative, access representative, registration technician, insurance verifier, pre-registration specialist, and financial counselor.

Do you enjoy helping people, and believe working in a clinic or hospital setting would be rewarding? Learn more below!

The Job

As a Patient Access Specialist, you will:

  • Maintain patient safety by using proper patient identification practices
  • Keeping the hospital compliant with many regulatory agencies
  • Deliver outstanding customer service
  • Ensure proper medical billing and insurance claim submissions

Begin your career as a Patient Access Specialist, where you will have immense potential for career advancement. Glassdoor reports that in 2020, Patient Access Specialists were paid an average wage of $31,000 per year.

This is one of the most important and concentrated positions in healthcare, encompassing many different roles and responsibilities within a hospital setting.

Enroll in the Patient Access Specialist program to gain the skills and know-how to pass the Certified Healthcare Admissions Associate (CHAA) exam.

The Program

The Institute for Health Professionals’ Patient Access Specialist program consists of 3 online, instructor-facilitated courses that will prepare you to pass the Certified Healthcare Admissions Associate (CHAA) exam. You can complete the program in 2–3 terms. Students must take Patient Access I and Patient Access Specialist II in sequence. The 3 online courses include:

  • The Medical Terminology course is a mandatory course in the Patient Access Specialist Program. While students have the flexibility to enroll in both the Medical Terminology Course and the Patient Access Specialist Program simultaneously, it is strongly recommended that students complete the Medical Terminology Course prior to enrolling in the Patient Access Specialist Program, if feasible.
  • Patient Access Specialist I
  • Patient Access Specialist II

In these courses you will gain a basic understanding of:

  • Accurate patient identification practices
  • Standards for patient safety
  • Customer service skills
  • Regulations for accountable care and patient satisfaction
  • Health insurance information
  • Health care reform
  • Medical billing and claim submission processes

After completion of the program, you will be able to:

  • Recognize and understand medical terminology in order to comprehend and analyze medical reports for coding and billing
  • Accurately record patient demographics, insurance, and billing information
  • Understand Revenue Cycle flow from the front, middle, and back end functions, as well as various requirements of major insurance carriers
  • Provide excellent customer service, with an understanding of age-appropriate communication, how to address disputes, cope with challenging individuals, and deal with difficult situations
  • Understand health insurance rules and regulations, and how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act affects service standards
Who is the Patient Access Specialist program for?

If you are new to the healthcare industry and seeking an entry-level, front-line registration position within a hospital setting, this program may be for you.

Required Materials

  • Access to the PCC Online Learning Course
  • Computer headset or applicable audio
  • Required Books
    • Health Insurance Today 7th Edition by Janet I. Beik AA BA ME, Julie Pepper BS CMA (AAMA) [ISBN-13: 978-0323655538]
    • Workbook Health Insurance Today 7th Edition by Janet I. Beik AA BA ME, Julie Pepper BS CMA (AAMA) [ISBN-13: 978-0323654289]
  • Please be advised that this book is not made available for purchased at PCC Bookstore. Students are encouraged to shop for the best pricing at a bookstore of their choice.

The Investment

  • Time:
    • 2–3 terms and 3 online courses, 20 weeks
  • Tuition: $1,598 total, excluding books
    • Medical Terminology Online (prerequisite) – $249, excluding book
    • Patient Access I & II: $1,598, excluding books

The Instructors

Coming soon.


Can I use federal financial aid?

No, federal financial aid does not apply to non-credit courses. Students are required to pay, in full, once they are notified of their acceptance into the program.

Is there a clinical or internship available?

We are currently working on externships for our students. More details to come.

How long does this course take to complete?

This course can be completed in 2 terms.

In addition to Patient Access Specialist I and II, students must also complete the Institute for Health Professionals’ Medical Terminology course. All courses are delivered in a live online, real-time lecture model for instructor-student interaction, along with office hours for additional support. Medical Terminology is predominantly a self-study model with instructor feedback and coaching during office hours.

Do I have to buy my books through the PCC bookstore?

No, these books are not sold at the PCC bookstore. You can purchase the books online and are encouraged to shop around for the best price.

Will this prepare me for a national certification exam?

Yes. After completing this program, students will have the skills and knowledge required to sit for the Certified Healthcare Admissions Associate (CHAA) exam. The certifying body for the Patient Access Certification is the National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM).

Upcoming Course Schedule

Don’t see the course you want??Contact us for more information.


Register Now

Admissions Process: PCC-IHP Patient Access Specialist Registration Process

Find the CRN of your course from the class schedule. Then, register:

  • Online: If this is your first time taking a class at PCC, create an account. If you are a returning student, log in to MyPCC and click “Register for classes,” found in your Term-to-Term Checklist, under “Register”.
  • Phone: Call 971-722-8888, option 2.

Need help? Get detailed information on how to register and how to pay.


For more information, please email Bem Hanamoto.