Hospital has major turnaround in fee collection

| 24/10/2017 | 37 Comments

(CNS): The hospital boss told the Public Accounts Committee Tuesday that there has been a dramatic improvement in collections at the Health Services Authority this year. HSA CEO Lizette Yearwood said that this month alone the collection of patient fees has more than doubled compared to the previous average monthly amount. With a week left to go before the end of October, the HSA has already collected $14 million in fees for the month, compared to a previous average of around $6 million, she said and told the committee that a tremendous amount of work had been done to drastically increase collections.

Yearwood and HSA board chair Jonathan Tibbetts made their second appearance before the parliamentary committee this month, having been recalled to discuss issues surrounding the employment of Deloitte as consultants to assist with the hospital’s financial challenges.

They explained to PAC the rationale for employing consultants, what the remit for the contract was and the HSA’s progress in plugging the long-standing gaps in its ability to produce accurate accounts.

Yearwood said that the HSA Patient Services’ financial services team had done “tremendous work and drastically increased” collections. She said the controls that had been implemented following the recommendations of the Office of the Auditor General and the consultants were “yielding very positive results”, and she was confident that by the end of 2018 the hospital would get a clean opinion on its financial report for the first time in the history of the authority.

Tibbetts told the PAC that the issue of bad debt was also being tackled, and although the hospital is still dealing with an accumulative debt of over $100 million, the year-to-year debt comparison was also dropping significantly. He said that at the end of the 2015/2016 fiscal year the hospital had acquired another $15 million in new debt, but at the end of 2016/2017 it will have had fallen to $7 million and he said it was expected to continue falling.

Yearwood said that in addition to the process controls and improved management the hospital was now taking a different approach. Except for emergencies, the HSA is asking how people will pay before they are treated; and having introduced the threat of court action for non-payment, the debt was coming down and it would not be increasing.

However, she did not say if this new approach of focusing on ensuring patients are insured or have the means to pay before offering service had impacted the policy of treating all those in need of medical attention.

Both the CEO and the board chair remained confident that by 2018 the hospital would receive a clean audit opinion and would have made serious inroads in preventing further debt accumulation.

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Category: Government Finance, Government oversight, Health, Politics

Comments (37)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The right people, in the right places, at the right time can make all the difference in the world. Case in point!




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  2. Anonymous says:

    So when they don’t collect the receivables it’s a problem, when they do collect, it is also a problem, then people wonder why none of the crabs get out of the bucket and we keep having to appoint expats to senior positions, you can never please Caymanians.




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  3. Diogenes says:

    How opportune and what fantastic timing, perhaps the garbage fees can be collected as well maybe the PAC needs to be steered in that direction

    Diogenes




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    • Anonymous says:

      PAC had nothing to do with HSA. You will read the first line… HSA boss “TOLD.” Where do you see that PAC had anything to do with this?




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      • Anonymous says:

        While HSA is an authority, it is still owned by the government and peoples of the Cayman. Islands so PAC has everything to do with it.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Your comment implied that it was PAC that got the collections going. My comment was that PAC had nothing to do with getting the organization turned around… . How exactly then does PAC have everything to do with collecting the money?




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          • Diogenes says:

            And you think the PAC meeting earlier is not the reason why they are touting these new collection numbers, this is a trend that will likely continue now that the opposition is breathing down their neck. Notice I never said that the PAC was responsible for the collection of fees. I am simply saying that if perhaps the PAC goes sniffing around the department responsible for collecting said fees that maybe they will have some magic new numbers to report as well.

            And you really think that the HSA magically started collecting “drastically increased” amounts of money for no reason, even if you somehow think that it is a coincidence which it likely is not. Why would you not want the PAC to start looking into the situation with other monies that the government doesn’t seem interested in collecting.

            Read the name of the person who replies next time, he was not me and and this is my first response to any comment under my initial comment

            Diogenes




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            • Anonymous says:

              All fine and dandy until you realize that these collections are a direct result of an organization that is now being run as a business instead of a lending institution or a charity.
              Give credit where credit is due.




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            • Anonymous says:

              Let me reiterate, your comment implied that PAC had something to do with the gains in hospital collections.

              The drastic increases are directly linked to the new approaches being taken by the management/board.




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Whilst this is good news, doesn’t this demonstrate that previously nobody gave a hoot about collecting outstanding fees? Are they going to revert back to their previous minimal effort operation once the spot light goes away?

    The drastic turn-around only shows that previously everyone seems to have been cruising on minimal effort exerted.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, but I’m a bit skeptical.
    Certain some fuzzy accounting is not taking place?




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  6. Anonymous says:

    The PAC kick in the butt is having a positive effect. Thanks PAC MEMBERS. Governor and DG please get the civil servants to do what they are paid to do.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    It is amazing the “turnarounds” that happen when the guillotine rolls into position.




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    • Anon says:

      Sounds like proper systems are being put in place and there is follow through in carrying them out.

      Hallelujah, someone is doing his or her job. Simple. For a change.

      As for transactions at the hospital, I am fine with requiring people to pay at the time of service, with the exception being emergencies.

      People, let us get our priorities right. Reduce spending in non essential areas and ensure we have adequate health insurance. And set aside a little money each month for health care. Health is all.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The best and spot on comment.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    “Turnaround”..lol.. Brac miracles I guess.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    We need to move towards a national health service or significantly more people are going to start to die going forward. The system we have is clearly not working.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    It’s a miracle! The plane voodoo spirit catcher must have paid a visit..




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  11. Anonymous says:

    Can you tell us how much was collected during the past 10 months – January to September? Answer that question and we will be the judge of whether the the system is improving.




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  12. Anonymous says:

    So disappointed by the action of the committee, it was clearly a witch hunt for the non-caymanian CFO. This is what one man one vote does, the gutter politics of pandering to a small number of constituents.

    Keep up the good work HSA let’s hope Ezzard and Chris never have to find themselves there




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  13. Anonymous says:

    So simply put, like in the US, if you don’t have the money you will die.
    And nobody gives a f..k.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Then make some money… If you can’t for severe medical or mental issues, the state will if everyone else pays their dues.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Actually you just go to the hospital and get treated for free. Nobody is dying for lack of insurance.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Not true about the US. Hospitals won’t refuse treatment if a person is uninsured. If a person fits in a low income bracket, or no income at all due to disability (but no disability income), the bill would be written off or significantly reduced.




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      • Anonymous says:

        So no one has been doing their jobs for years without any consequences and now some one is and It only cost the Government a little over a billion dollars? Even Caymanians have to see that this is why no one on island, even Caymanians want to hire Caymanians to work.




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      • Anonymous says:

        And payed for by whom? Anyone but the patient?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Not true, they treat you and get their money at inflated charges, example, was in California some years ago visiting family. Came down with a cold went to the Doctor got some medication. 3 days later received a bill for over $5,000.00 and I was registered as a Migrant Farm Worker. When I called to inform them I was a visitor (tourist) and to question the bill they got very upset with me. I explained to them that my family knew who to register a complaint with. They then sent me a new bill for $433.00. Go figure, Is it happening here?




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