A patient representative is like a customer service representative for patients at health care facilities. She acts as a liaison between medical staff and patients as well as their families. A patient representative explains services and policies and she handles complaints. Most patient representatives earn at least $17 per hour as of 2011.
The work of a patient representative helps patients and their families make better-informed decisions and helps the health care facility improve customer satisfaction. She answers questions from patients and their families and coordinates communication between patients and the medical and administrative staff. The representative interviews patients about their experiences, informs staff members of complaints, and follows up on complaint resolutions to ensure satisfactory results. Patient representatives may create informational brochures and other printed materials about the facility in general or on specific topics.
The median salary for patient representatives as of May 2011 was $42,148 per year, according to Salary.com. That translates to about $20.30 per hour. The middle 50 percent of patient representatives on the earnings scale were making $35,980 to $51,117 per year, or about $17.30 to $24.60 per hour. The bottom 10 percent had salaries at or below $30,364 per year, or less than $14.60 per hour. Salaries for the top 10 percent were $59,283 per year and more, or at least $28.50 per hour.
Salaries for patient representatives vary significantly with geography. Patient reps in Missoula, Montana, for instance, had a median pay rate of $29,503 per year as of May 2011, or about $14.20 per hour. In contrast, patient reps in San Jose, California, were making a median salary of $50,577 per year, or around $24.30 per hour. The median annual salary was $39,197 for patient representatives in Charleston, South Carolina; $40,125 in Austin, Texas; $41,768 in Phoenix, Arizona; $42,021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; $44,255 in New Bedford, Massachusetts; $45,941 in Arlington, Virginia; and $48,091 in Anchorage, Alaska.
Missoula ranked in the bottom 10 percent nationwide for patient representative salaries in 2011. The lowest salaries in that city for patient representatives were at or below $21,255 per year, or $10.20 per hour and less. The highest salaries in the sample group of cities were in San Jose, where the top 10 percent of patient representatives were making $71,139 per year and more, or $34.20 per hour and higher.