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The HSE engaged Grant Thornton to carry out a review of the patient income process in 2016. This review cost €53,400 plus VAT, the Medical Independent (MI) has been informed.
Following a tendering process, Grant Thornton was also appointed to assist in the improvement process. At the time of going to press, the Executive had not provided this newspaper with a figure for the cost of this process.
According to the HSE, Grant Thornton is tasked with assisting each hospital’s operation of the patient income process and to introduce elements of standardisation. This is a three-year project and includes plans to standardise the billing collection of statutory emergency department (ED) and inpatient charges.
Project governance is provided by the Patient Income Oversight Group, chaired by Mr Gerry O’Dwyer, CEO, South/South West Hospital Group. This group contains representatives of Hospital Groups; hospitals; Acute Hospitals Division; National Finance Division; Health Business Service; Office of the Chief Information Officer; Communications; and Human Resources.
Planning for phase two of this process commenced in November 2017 and work began in January. “The roll-out will be by each Hospital Group and will incorporate learning from phase one,” according to an update provided at the HSE Audit Committee earlier this year and seen by MI following a Freedom of Information request.
“There will be a greater involvement of Hospital Groups and CFOs [Chief Financial Officers], with a reduced involvement of Grant Thornton. Phase two will have a focus on training, standardisation of processes and measurement of improvements in billing and collection by hospitals.”