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Rice Hospital in Willmar, Minn., to resume bill estimating service

WILLMAR -- Beginning Sept. 4, Rice Memorial Hospital will resume providing estimates of patient bills prior to service.

The service has been suspended since November 2011 due to the implementation of a new hospital-wide computer software system.

Once again, patients will learn what their costs will be, including out-of-pocket expenses, in advance and be able to make arrangements for payment prior to service. All hospital expenses not covered by insurance, or another guarantor such as Medicare, will be due at the time of service.

"Patients like knowing what the cost of their care will be up front," said Jackie Hinderks, director of revenue and reimbursement. "If they have financial challenges, we can provide them with financial counseling right away to see if they qualify for a Rice grant or uninsured discount."

By collecting payment prior to service, as well as determining if a patient qualifies for payment assistance in advance, Rice is able to reduce the number of accounts that go into collections. For more information about paying for services at Rice, visit