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Part of Western Governors University

September 4, 2019

Nursing & Healthcare

What does a health care coordinator do?

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WGU has just announced a brand new healthcare degree, the Bachelor of Science in Health Services Coordination. So now you’re probably wondering, what exactly is health services coordination, and what does a health care coordinator do?

What is a health care coordinator?

Picture going to the doctor’s office. You walk in, feeling nervous about your appointment ahead. You’re relieved as someone at the front desk walks you through what your appointment is, helps you fill out paperwork, answers your questions, and calls your insurance for you when there seems to be a question about your co-pay. This same person comes back to the exam room later to show the doctor health records from a different clinic and helps you set up an appointment with a specialist your doctor recommends. This one person can help improve your mood, and make a nerve wracking experience much less stressful and frustrating.

In the world of healthcare, there are thousands of patients at a time who need unique and specific attention to get the care they require. From their admission into a healthcare facility to the doctor they see, their insurance paperwork, and the next steps after they receive care, there is so much to think about and coordinate. Enter health care coordinators. 

Health care coordinators take the complex and often frustrating elements of healthcare and help patients get organized and feel confident in the process. This involves working with them to set appointments, helping them fill out and understand complicated medical paperwork, working with insurance providers to determine payment options, facilitating the execution of treatment plans created by doctors and nurses, coordinating efforts between doctors when there are needs for multiple avenues of care, and mostly helping everyone know they have an advocate who will help them navigate their medical journey.

This up-and-coming field is an exciting place for those passionate about healthcare and patient advocacy. Health care coordinators typically work in a clinic or hospital settings, but can be found in other settings throughout the community like schools, government facilities, and more.

Does this sound like a match for your skills? With a degree in health services coordination, you could help people in this vital healthcare role.

Hospital entrance sign

What are health care coordinator responsibilities?

Health service coordinators can expect that they will be responsible for the following things at their job: 

  • Work with patients and their families to discuss health problems

  • Provide education about medication, conditions, and care instructions

  • Execute a care plan created by providers to help with health care needs

  • Consult and work with other health care providers to schedule appointments and treatment plans

  • Check on patients regularly to document the progress of their care

  • Help the care team with recommended care

  • Assist with exploring resources in an effort to secure funding for medical care

  • Work with insurance organizations to help clients

  • Use empathy and respect when engaging with patients and their families

  • Comply with guidelines and healthcare laws 

  • Work within their community, hospital, or clinic setting to make processes smooth and streamlined

Woman on ipad doing health coordination

What will I learn in my health services coordination degree program?

If being a health care coordinator sounds interesting to you, you'll want to do all you can to provide the best care possible. A degree in a health field is your first step. And WGU's new program is tailor-made for future health care workers to improve their skills.

Most health care coordinators find that their education is vital in helping them get a job, and succeed at it. A degree helps them learn management principles that are vital for their field, information on health that gives them the knowledge to feel confident in a health care setting, and business skills that help them optimize their operations.

You will likely find that your abilities drastically improve when you further your education and earn a degree, and doors into health care fields may be open to you with the help of your diploma.

At WGU, our goal is to help you find success in your career. That’s why our curriculum is designed with the help of industry experts and professionals who truly know what skills you’ll need to succeed. The courses that you’ll take will focus on health care management, business, health care technology, and health sciences. These areas of emphasis will help you get the full picture of what patients and medical professionals need from their health care coordinators.

This degree and career path focuses on value-based care and means you’ll be directly interacting with patients. This degree could be the perfect fit for students who are interested in being a member of the healthcare team, but don’t want to provide direct patient care, don’t qualify for the BSN program, or are not interested in other allied health fields.

If you love working with people and have the drive to care for others, a degree in healthcare may be the right fit for you. Specifically, a degree in health services coordination can give you many areas that you love in one job, like helping patients navigate their health care and medicine while making their lives easier through organization and coordination. Improve your chances of landing this dream job by getting your degree today.

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Our focus on your success starts with our focus on four high-demand fields: K–12 teaching and education, nursing and healthcare, information technology, and business. Every degree program at WGU is tied to a high-growth, highly rewarding career path. Which college fits you?

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