Financial assistance helps those in need in Montana focus on their health

At Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson, a team of financial counselors strive to keep Providence’s promise of “know me, care for me, ease my way.”

The financial counseling team helps ensure that patients’ concerns about payment never get in the way of their care. In 2022, Providence Montana provided more than $4.9 million in charity care, which is free or discounted care for those in need.

The financial counseling team’s expertise extends to health coverage and benefits. Financial counselors help patients in need find insurance coverage options. Beyond the immediate gain of obtaining health coverage, these benefits help ensure that patients have access to ongoing care.

After being diagnosed with a serious illness, Alicia* had to navigate critical medical treatment and deal with unforeseen changes in her life. This experience led her to working with a financial counseling supervisor, who guided Alicia through the financial assistance process that helped cover Alicia’s future medical expenses.

This financial counseling supervisor also assisted Alicia with her medical leave from work, including applying for her employer’s disability benefits, starting the process of applying for Social Security Disability and researching Alicia’s options for ongoing health coverage. Alicia was able to focus on her health and quality of life, thanks to this program.

*To protect patient identity, names were changed for the purposes of this story.

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