Pullman Regional Hospital Houses Medical Assistance Specialist

Mar 20, 2014

Pullman Regional Hospital’s Patient Financial Services office is the new home to a Medical Assistance Specialist, providing consultation for individual and family medical eligibility for Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other Medicaid and state funded medical assistance programs available in Washington State.

“Our goal is to make sure our community has access to help within this complex system,” said Chief Financial Officer, Steven Febus. “We are partnering with the state by providing a space and means of communication; phone, Internet, and work station.”

Sarah Westensee was hired for the position in March. She brings years of experience working in patient financial services to her new position and a strong desire to bring hope to those in need.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to serve the community in this way,” Westensee said. “This partnership between Pullman Regional Hospital and the Health Care Authority brings customer service to Whitman County residents right where they can reach it.”

The position is funded through the Health Care Authority (HCA), the single state agency responsible for Washington Apple Health, the state’s Medicaid program. Medicaid expansion, as part of the Affordable Care Act, has increased the number of Washington residents eligible for Apple Health by raising the eligible income level. More than 300,000 people have enrolled in Apple Health through the online wahealthplanfinder.org web portal since it launched in October 2013.

Westensee cannot enter information on new applications, but she can answer questions about the application process and explain why an application is stuck in the system, or why it was closed or denied. She can also help Apple Health clients with renewals, which are also done online through wahealthplanfinder.org.

Community members can work with Westensee to learn about Medicaid eligibility and program benefits over the phone, by calling (509) 334-4086, or in person at the Pullman Regional Hospital Patient Financial Services office, located in the Corporate Pointe building at 825 SE Bishop Blvd. in Pullman Monday through Friday from 8 AM until 5 PM.

“This is just one more way we can help provide expertise, clarity and peace of mind during a time of transition and change,” said Febus.

Contact: Alison Weigley, Community Relations Coordinator
Pullman Regional Hospital
509-336-7408
alison.weigley@pullmanregional.org

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