Hospital creating bills on time, says CEO

| 12/09/2016 | 8 Comments

(CNS): Officials from the Health Services Authority have said that the hospital is getting on top of the delays in invoicing. CEO Lizzette Yearwood said the HSA was addressing past problems, where some invoices did not reach the insurances companies on time and bills were sent to patients years after treatment. Following the recent examination of the authority’s latest published accounts by the Public Accounts Committee and concerns by many CNS readers about how the hospital is billing insurance companies and patients, Yearwood said the system was improving.

“The HSA is aware that in the past there have been system issues that affected when bills were sent to patients and insurance companies, however this has now been addressed, and although there can always be extenuating circumstances, the system is now generating timely bills,” she stated.

But it doesn’t mean that the hospital’s bill collection problems are over. Yearwood told CNS that the hospital cannot send bills to the patients until the insurance providers have responded to the invoices sent to them. She also noted that patients don’t always collect their hospital bills from the post.

“Returned mail continues to be an issue,” she said, adding that the hospital receives a significant volume. “Many times the statements are not getting to the patients or they are not being claimed at the post office.”

The hospital is dealing with a significant debt that is carried over year after year, but the HSA board has now been cleared by the health ministry to begin writing off outstanding bills that will never be recovered from insurer or patient.

While the hospital is now going through the process of finding a professional debt collector to help it recover some of the bad debt, the main aim now is to ensure that the hospital does not creat new bad debt by improving the current system and in some cases, such as the pharmacy, charging patients up-front for the medicine and care they need.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    To follow-up on my comment regarding the erroneous calculation of my 20% co-pay, before I could refer my concern to HSA headquarters in George Town (which had been the instruction of staff at WB Clinic), yesterday morning the young lady called me and invited me back to the Clinic to clarify the matter,

    Firstly, I was pleasantly surprised by her follow-up and her explanation that she had spent quite some time looking into the matter herself. Her explanation indicated that my prior charge had been under-calculated and the present charge had taken that “short-fall” into account and charged me more for the current prescription, to compensate. She showed me the numbers and it all added up. However, she was unable to explain why there was an “under-calculation” the previous time.

    I would suggest that this system might still need some review so as to determine such miscalculations. However, I greatly appreciated the way that the young lady dealt with my concern.

    HSA, your monitoring of this issue on CNS and your invitation to me to contact your Patient Services Financial Team are appreciated. At least someone is paying attention and, as such, that is comforting.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yesterday (Sept 12) at West Bay District Clinic, I discovered that the 20% portion of my insurance co-pay, is miscalculated. I thought it was the attendant’s mistake but she showed me that is how it’s set-up in the system. When she showed me my previous statement I saw the same error. I’ve requested copies of all my records over the past 2 years to review. I will be addressing this with HSA today because the staff at WB Clinic could offer no more assistance with clarifying this error.

    Is this the Care Pay system which was purchased under Conover’s watch? Perhaps he’s still getting a commission for all transactions?

    CNS, please look into this? I’m sure I’m not the only patient of HSA whose 20% share has been miscalculated.

    • Thank you for your comment. The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority takes such situations very seriously if you could please reach out to our Patient Financial Services Team by calling 244-2538 or 244-2596 to review the situation and ensure all is clarified and/or resolved.
      Thank you

  3. Anonymous says:

    The HSA’s unpaid bills story is the same longtime scapegoat for an issue often ignored or overlooked by everyone it seems, and that issue is the management of the organization. Get proper managers in there with good business sense, instead of tenured friends promoting friends into the clique, and the institution will improve to the point of being first choice for those seeking healthcare services. Not only that, but we’ll finally get a grip on rising debt, because what they don’t say is that some of that debt is a result of recurring bad decision making.

    Please take my free advice. The senior management there are being paid too much to keep reporting tens of millions in losses every year, and these losses are holding the country back.

    • Anonymous says:

      Name and shame creditors, elected officials, you know who, are the worst offenders as they can certainly afford to pay.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how they propose to deal with the fact (as I understand it) that insurance companies have refused to pay some bills because the hospital invoiced the insurance companies out of time. Going after the insured’s in those circumstances would seem entirely inappropriate.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why could not auditors confirm it? They could not audit A/R because of complete mess in how it is done- the stone age way.

  6. Sonia Franks says:

    I am not asking Lizette, I am telling her. Invoices are being sent for amounts already settled by insurance companies. Fact. Another glorious day in the Civil Service.

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