Referral Coordinator: Job Description, Requirements and Career Info

Referral coordinator positions often require little formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and available certifications to determine if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

Referral coordinators perform administrative tasks to make recommendations to people in need of services, as well as relaying important information to companies and organizations. While this position primarily serves healthcare entities, referral coordinators may also work in children's services, welfare, and educational settings. Many employers require only a high school diploma or equivalent, though medical employers may require candidates to hold a degree in nursing, biology or medical technology. Relevant certification as a medical assistant is available, though typically voluntary.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent at minimum; medical jobs may require a degree
Available CertificationsCertified Medical Assistant
Additional RequirementsBilingual or fluency in other languages a plus; medical employers may require CPR certification
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)25% for all community health workers*
Median Salary (2014)$36,782 annually for medical referral coordinators**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Job Description for a Referral Coordinator

Referral coordinators set appointments and process transfers to ensure timely transmission and start of services. Primarily connected with the healthcare industry, referral coordinators serve as a liaison for patient resources. This position must be executed in compliance with insurance requirements, and the coordinator will often work closely with insurance companies.

Education and Certification Requirements

Educational Requirements

Because of the clerical nature of the work, some companies only require completion of a high school diploma or equivalent. Applicants in the health care industry must typically have at least one year of experience working in a medical office. More advanced referral coordinator positions, particularly those closely related with advanced medical care, may require a degree in nursing or related fields, such as biology or medical technology. Bilingual or multiple language proficiency may also prove a valuable asset in certain settings.

Certification

Although usually not mandatory, becoming a Certified Medical Assistant can prove an applicant's knowledge and competency when seeking a position. This certification can be obtained through the American Association of Medical Assistants. The organization also provides training in areas, such as medical terminology, computer applications, records keeping, insurance coding, office practices, and patient relations (www.aama-ntl.org). Some medical companies also prefer applicants with up-to-date CPR certification.

Career Information for Referral Coordinators

Required Attributes of a Referral Coordinator

A referral coordinator performs general office duties that require a proficiency in communication and organizational skills. Specific understanding of the field in which they work, including office procedures and liability considerations, are necessary to effectively accommodate those seeking their support, whether in the healthcare field, social services, or learning institutions. Examples of knowledge and abilities a referral coordinator should possess include:

  • Computer skills and software aptitude
  • Communication and customer service skills
  • Insurance coding and medical terminology
  • Multi-line phone proficiency

Salary Information for a Referral Coordinator

In December 2014, PayScale.com reported an annual salary range for medical referral coordinators as $24,471-$48,366. The median annual salary earned by these coordinators was reported as $36,782 by the same source. While it does not forecast specifically for referral coordinators, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 25% growth in employment for the broader category of community health care workers for the period 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov).

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