What Does A Patient Care Coordinator Do?

Wondering, what does a patient care coordinator do? These coordinators act as a liaison between the health care providers and the patient. Read on!

The ins and outs of the healthcare industry are vast, and it can be daunting to navigate the nuances. To maneuver through the system effectively and find the proper medical care, one needs a guide. That’s where a patient care coordinator comes in.

Patient care coordinators are health care professionals that work with patients to find the best form of care by assessing their patients’ health, advocating for proper treatment, and communicating about payment plans and insurance. 

Most often, care coordinators help elderly patients. However, patients of all ages and backgrounds can benefit from their health services. In this guide, we’ll run through the role and skills of patient care coordinators and how they help to improve the patient care experience.

What Does A Patient Care Coordinator Do?

So, what do patient care coordinators do? A patient care coordinator, also referred to as a care coordinator, acts as a liaison between the patient and the healthcare provider. They are there to make the connection between the two as seamless and streamlined as possible, and to make sure nothing gets lost in translation along the way. 

As such, the patient care coordinator will be the first and main point of contact with the patient to make sure those in need feel seen, heard, and cared for by answering any questions that the patients may have.

Patient care coordinators also help to alleviate a lot of the inefficiencies that can come along with understanding the patient intake process, such as lost or unfilled out forms and missing information, by collecting the materials and making sure all required documents are accounted for. 

It’s also important that patient care coordinators and intake specialists always comply with HIPAA regulations and have a secure system that protects the patient’s privacy. Understanding how to ensure HIPAA compliance virtually is especially important as more practices move into telemedicine.

While the role of a patient care coordinator may differ depending on their specialties, their primary patient care coordinator responsibilities include:

  • Entering data for patient record
  • Communicating with the patient via phone, email, and texting services
  • Finding out insurance information and estimates
  • Submitting insurance claims
  • Collecting patient’s copays and balances
  • Scheduling patient’s visits
  • Answering billing questions
  • Making sure authorization for procedures is obtained
  • Scanning necessary documents into the patient’s chart
  • Meeting with the patient and their family to thoroughly explain treatments, procedures, insurance coverage, future care, and medications

Along with being a liaison between the patient and the healthcare provider, part of the patient care coordinator job description is to also act as the liaison between the patient and their insurance company. 

This is a very important part of the care coordinator’s role—the healthcare insurance industry is complicated and can involve loopholes and fine prints that are often missed and overlooked, resulting in high fees for patients.

Hiring a skilled care coordinator who can alleviate some of these complexities and provide the necessary information is a major benefit to the patient.

What Information is Collected From Patients During an Initial Screening?

Once a patient care coordinator is hired, they must collect the correct information from their patients to relay to healthcare providers or insurance companies. That way, patients can get the best medical care possible.

Therefore, when working with a care coordinator, healthcare providers will need to ask for the following patient information:

  • Demographic data
  • Social history data
  • Medical history
  • Allergy information
  • Consent forms
  • Insurance information
  • Billing information

Providing thorough and complete medical records that give the primary care provider a screenshot of the patient’s medical history increases the chance of getting into an appointment quicker, without the hassle of extra paperwork. However, it can be a tedious and time-consuming process for patients.

Luckily, care coordinators take over that responsibility by filling out forms and sending paperwork to help patients feel more confident that they’re providing everything they need to get the best care. This is one of the most helpful strategies to improve patient intake efficiency.

What Skills Are Required of a Care Coordinator?

When faced with a medical issue or a paperwork mishap, patients can feel overwhelmed when it comes to finding the care they need and how they can afford it. As such, care coordinators must be sympathetic, empathetic, and receptive to patient needs. 

If you’re looking for a care coordinator or looking to enter the field, there are several important skills and qualifications every successful patient care coordinator should have:

  • Calm
  • Knowledgeable
  • Patient
  • Understanding
  • Kind
  • Organized
  • Good with technology
  • High school or college diploma
  • Medical assistant certification

When people are sick or encountering stressful situations, they don’t necessarily have the time or energy to research and find solutions to the obstacles ahead. If you’re facing a medical issue, contact an experienced patient care coordinator to get you the emotional and physical care you deserve. 

How Nexa Can Help You Collect Patient Information

A patient care coordinator can help patients navigate the murky waters of the healthcare and insurance industries, leading them to brighter days. 

If you’re one of the many health care providers looking to build a network of patient care coordinators, enlist Nexa in your care crusade. We act as your virtual receptionist, answering patient’s calls, texts, and emails around the clock so you can spend your time on the details of each of your cases. 

Allow Nexa to help you organize and keep all of your patients’ information together in one place so you can maximize every opportunity.

Sources: 

Phreesia. What Is Patient Intake? https://www.phreesia.com/2019/11/04/blog-what-is-patient-intake/

Bryant Stratton. Patient Care Coordinator Job Description. https://www.bryantstratton.edu/global/bryantstratton/jobs/patient-care-coordinator

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