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Ethical concerns raised in relation to delays in consultants signing off insurance forms

The Committee also requested that consultation with the Medical Council might be advisable on how the consultant contract might relate to the issue.

The matter was discussed at a recent meeting of the Committee on 29 March in relation to the in-depth review by Grant Thornton of patient income processes within the acute hospital sector, which commenced in January.

It was noted that the review will include an ‘as-is’ patient pathway process map; process, staff and systems overviews; review and evaluation of the collection of patient debt; governance and reporting; and accounting regulations and legislation.

The recently-signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the HSE and Vhi Healthcare was also discussed at the meeting.

The Committee noted the next steps and work in progress in relation to electronic claiming; maintenance of an up-to-date bed map; development of a comprehensive suite of key performance indicators to ensure that all parties are complying with the MoU; development of a listing of all consultants on an ongoing basis; and ongoing discussions with other private health insurers.

“The Committee emphasised the need to observe the HSE’s obligations under the MoU with regard to delivering full documentation on time,” according to the minutes of the meeting seen by the Medical Independent.

“The Committee also noted the need to focus on making significant improvements to the HSE’s patient income collection processes, including increasing accountability in relation to working capital.”

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