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11 Sep 2013

Issues with DSHS billing system push firm to brink

Robert Lee, director of government affairs and health policy analyst for Care Medical & Rehabilitation Equipment, stands in the company’s storage area, where wheelchairs and other medical equipment are located, inside its Vancouver office. The company notified affected customers in late August that the errors occurred after it transitioned to a new billing software system in May. In a letter to customers, the company said that the errors were due to either an extended billing period or a surcharge that was left off some customers' bills, the Charleston Daily Mail ( http://bit.ly/1880Qky ) reported. A prorating formula calculated by the billing system charged customers billed for 36 or more days of water service more than they should have been. The company's required monthly bill cycle is 25 to 35 days. Most of the customers whose bills were adjusted were affected by the extended billing error. They will see a credit on their next monthly bill, Jordan said. About 1,000 customers who were affected by the missing surcharge error will see an additional charge on their next monthly bill. The surcharge is paid to local government entities, including the Putnam County Building Commission, Kanawha County Regional Development Authority, and the towns of Clendenin and Arbuckle. Customers who cannot afford to pay the additional charge in the first month can call the company's customer service center at 800-685-8660 to arrange paying off the charge over a three-month period. Jordan said that the company posted the adjustments to affected customer accounts on Aug. 24.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.exponent-telegram.com/web_exclusive/wv/w-va-american-water-corrects-billing-errors/article_e509b35e-19e1-5203-98b3-179483d9bff7.html

West Virginia American Water fixes billing problems

Lee of Care Medical said thats an understatement. Care Medical had no problems with DSHS former billing system, he said, but when ProviderOne went live all hell broke loose. Before ProviderOne took effect, Care Medical brought in a monthly average of about $370,000 from its Medicaid billings, Lee said. After the new system went live, that monthly average plummeted to roughly $92,500 a 75 percent decrease in just two months, he said. DSHS staff has worked hard to fix problems and to release payments to Care Medical, Lee said. However, the ProviderOne software continues wrongfully sending his companys billings into denial or suspension. In some circumstances, Lee said, they dont know where (billings) went. Lee said about 22 percent of Care Medicals overall sales volume depends on successfully completing transactions with DSHS. He said the $1.4 million owed to the company is a conservative estimate because it doesnt include a backlog of requests to provide equipment or services to patients that DSHS must review and approve before the billing process can begin. Care Medical has taken its concerns about ProviderOne to Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, and the Washington State Auditors Office. In a Sept. 21 e-mail to Jay Manning, chief of staff for Gov. Chris Gregoire, and Doug Porter, director of Medicaid for DSHS, Moeller wrote that Care Medicals situation is still critical and he asked the state agency keep his office informed of actions taken to resolve the situation. Robbins Brown said that over the past month and a half her agency met twice with as many as 22 representatives of medical-equipment companies to listen to their concerns and to address their problems. She said her agency has spent more time with Care Medical than any other medical-equipment provider to help understand whats preventing them from making accurate billings. Care Medical has worked hard to learn the new system and to iron out a few issues on its end, Lee said.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.columbian.com/news/2010/oct/09/issues-with-dshs-billing-system-push-firm-to-brink/

To order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers, click the "Reprints" link at the top of any article. Electronic Billing Systems a Rising Priority Among Insurers By Robert Regis Hyle, PropertyCasualty360.com June 20, 2011 Reprints In the family of core systems , billing often is viewed as the runt of the litter. The replacement of policy administration systems has overshadowed billing as insurance carriers focus on growth strategy first and customer service strategies second, according to Martina Conlon, a principal in Novaricas insurance practice . We know that billing is a customer service application, she says. Its a financial application, but is critical in customer service. As we see customer service being prioritized as a strategic goal, billing systems are becoming more of a priority. Karen Furtado, partner with Strategy Meets Action ( SMA ), finds that what drives carriers to think of changes in their billing systems is when they dont have the capability of doing things for themselves that they see with their competitors. This can start to sway the scale as far as competitive differentiation, says Furtado. Billing is there to service. As long as it is highly serviceable, people dont think of changing a component. If it is holding a company back they will change it, but they are trying not to reach that point. What we do know, though is billing is not a drag on the company, explains Furtado. People see [billing] as a way of staying very sharp and have refined their billing processes, she says Insurers face two choices when they look to replace their billing systeman enterprise suite or components. When examining components, policy and billing are closely linked because they share much of the same information, explains Furtado. Fundamentally, policy admin is the key so when you look at databases you will often see they are tightly linked because they are keyed the same way, says Furtado.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2011/06/20/electronic-billing-systems-a-rising-priority-among

Electronic Billing Systems a Rising Priority Among Insurers

After an extremely rapid implementation, VUE Billing & Collections went live in just five months. This flexible multi-carrier platform enables TBS to manage billing and collections for AetnaSM and other carriers it serves. A Managing General Agent (MGA) for Aetna in Washington state and Alaska, TBS contracted to handle Aetna's billing and serve as the carrier's Third Party Administrator (TPA). Planning on launching a billing and enrollment division, TBS required a robust, comprehensive and user-friendly billing system for invoicing customers on Aetna's behalf. With VUE Billing & Collections, TBS can now handle virtually any billing scenario, serve multiple carriers and include products from various carriers on a single bill. "We performed an exhaustive search for the perfect partner for our TBS billing platform and are pleased to have selected VUE Software. VUE Billing & Collections, with its real-time billing, customer portals and easy broker access, was clearly the ideal choice. The system is customizable and configurable, which will help us continue to meet the need of our clients with the rapidly changing market," said Mike Crosetto, COO at TBS.A"The VUE Software team brought both information technology expertise and industry-specific knowledge to the table, quickly responding to our needs, listening to what we wanted and successfully making it happen.AThis rapid-go-live attitude has allowed us to fulfill our promises to our carrier partners and our clients." TBS' goals include excellent service, a positive customer experience, an effective channel, and customer and producer retention. VUE Billing & Collections supports these extremely well. Billing system implementations can take six to nine months, so the aggressive five-month timeframe gives TBS a head start.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.bizjournals.com/prnewswire/press_releases/2013/09/04/FL74229

Total Benefit Solutions Selects VUE Software and Goes Live With Billing System in Five Months

Smart meters replaced analog meters throughout the city months ago, but the utility has still been using meter readers to manually report electricity and water use as officials ensure that the system works as intended. About 25% of customers are already being billed through the digital reads, but officials said that after some technology upgrades this month, the entire system will be online for billing beginning next month. The system does work as we expected, said Craig Kuennen, the utility's business transformation and marketing administrator. Smart meters had a rough start in Glendale after opponents spoke out against them at several public meetings, claiming that the radio frequencies emitted from the devices made them sick. Fewer have complained about the user data being collected. On Tuesday, the City Council approved spending more than $700,000 on software and data security upgrades that would protect the personal data gathered through the digital system. Utilities across the country are switching to smart grids in order to increase efficiencies and possibly lighten energy loads during peak times as customers curb use during high-cost periods. The U.S. Department of Energy gave Glendale $20 million of the $70 million it needed to upgrade the city's electrical and water systems. Through the smart grid system, Glendale residents can view their consumption through online portals. Glendale Water & Power is also testing a digital photo frame that shows energy and water use on an easy-to-read display. In a few months, the utility plans to use focus groups to analyze how pilot program participants feel about the frames, Kuennen said.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/12/glendales-smart-meter-billing-system-nearing-completion-.html

Glendale's 'smart meter' billing system nearing completion

Smart meter The company initially notified affected customers of the situation in letters mailed in late August. The letter said that after the company transitioned to its new software system in late May, some customer accounts were billed incorrectly. The errors were due to either an extended billing period or surcharge that was left off some customer bills. Customers who were billed for 36 or more days of water service - beyond the company's required 25 to 35-day monthly billing cycle - were charged higher amounts than they should have been, due to a prorating formula calculated by the billing system. The letter said customers affected by this error would receive a credit on their next monthly bill. While those customers will receive a credit, the customers affected by the missing surcharge will see an additional charge on their next bill. The surcharge inadvertently left off those bills is paid to various local government entities, including the Putnam County Building Commission, Kanawha County Regional Development Authority, and the towns of Clendenin and Arbuckle. If a customer cannot pay the additional charge in the first month, the company said customers can call the company's customer service center at 800-685-8660 to make arrangements to pay off the charge over a three-month period. Jordan said only a small portion of the 49,000 customer accounts affected by the software error will see the new charge on their next bill.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.dailymail.com/Business/201309090122

New billing system for more hospitals in Hong Kong

Photos NEWS The three-phase implementation, to be completed in 2013/14, will ensure smooth transition of a HA-wide billing system which will handle over 1 million patient discharges eachyear. According to HA, upon implementation of the new system in all public hospitals, charges in all hospitals and treatment episodes for an individual patient within the billing period can be consolidated in a single bill and be settled in any hospital cashier, alongside other payment methods such as 7-Eleven convenience stores and internet bankingservices. The newly introduced monthly summary statement will also provide patients a concise overview of all unsettled bills for services used in any publichospitals. Information video and poster have been produced to keep the public informed and help them understand the key features of the new billingsystem. Queen Mary Hospital of Hong Kong West Cluster and all hospitals in Kowloon Central Cluster were involved in the smooth changeover in the first phase earlier this year. In the second phase which started in July, the system will be extended to all other public hospitals in Hong Kong West Cluster, and Prince of Wales Hospital in New Territories EastCluster. During the transition, HA appeals for public understanding for possible incidence of slight delay and subsequent bill adjustments required that may happen in 20 hospitals being upgraded in the first two phases of systemchangeover.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.futuregov.asia/articles/2013/sep/11/new-billing-system-more-hospitals-hong-kong/


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