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Patient advocate can simplify the billing process

Health, Wellness & You
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Because no one should go without medical care due to an inability to pay, and because medical billing is a complex issue, Fort HealthCare has created the position of patient financial advocate. Jessica Rutter joined Fort HealthCare on October 18 with a wealth of knowledge on local, state and federal programs available to assist patients with their financial situations.

The patient financial advocate will meet with patients and family members in the hospital prior to discharge as well as in the emergency room. In addition to these responsibilities, Rutter will alleviate much of the confusion associated with paperwork by assisting with applications and ensuring documents are distributed appropriately to necessary organizations, including insurance companies and government programs.

“The thing I am most looking forward to in this role is providing information to the members of our community related to healthcare options, regardless of their ability to pay,” remarked Rutter. She will be available to provide counsel to patients and family members regarding programs such as the Rock River Free Clinic and the Fort HealthCare Community Care payment option, in addition to answering patient financial questions.

Individuals making a payment can do so online at, at the Fort Memorial Hospital information desk from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. any day of the week, or at the Business Services office at 426 McMillen Street in Fort Atkinson 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For questions regarding balances or insurance coverage, patients can go directly to the Business Services office. There is a private area designed for patients to meet with an account resolution specialist who specializes in the insurance plan of the patient. Business Services is also working to create new and better options for incoming calls to reduce wait times and limit the need for leaving messages.

For questions or assistance with your Fort HealthCare billing, contact Rutter at (920) 563-4443 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. She is also available for off-hours appointments when necessary.