Skip to main content

NSW Ambulance losing revenue from billing system issues: Auditor

Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014

The Ambulance Service of NSW is losing millions in annual revenue as a result of ongoing problems with its new patient billing system, the state’s Auditor-General revealed today.

The service has experienced continuing issues since implementing its new patient billing system in 2012-13, following initial functionality and data migration issues.

In his annual report to parliament on the Health cluster [pdf], NSW Auditor-General Grant Hehir today revealed that because ambulance transport records did not completely transfer from the dispatch system to the billing system, the NSW ambulance service failed to collect $3.9 million in revenue for the 2013-14 year.

The agency was owed $99.4 million by patients at the end of June this year, of which $86.2 million is unlikely to be paid, the auditor found.

Cash flow was also affected by the outstanding bills over the period, forcing the service to apply for a $17 million loan for the state government.

Hehir said his office had reported the issues to the service as high risk and needing urgent attention, and were advised that an external review into the effectiveness of the revenue system and patient billing practices was planned for 2014-15 - which Hehir suggested should be completed by March 31 next year.

eHealth NSW also came under the auditor's fire for having half of its IT projects running behind time and for failing to review completed projects. The body - which provides governance for NSW Health’s IT strategy and delivery - was established in July this year when the functions of HealthShare NSW were transferred to the new organisation.

Hehir had recommended last year that HealthShare conduct post-implementation reviews of IT projects but today said nothing had been done.

Read the full story by itnews at: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/398645,nsw-ambulance-losing-revenue-from-billing-system-issues-auditor.aspx#ixzz3LN4fb9xk