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Saturday 20 September 2014

VHI unit recovers €7m from incorrect invoices

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

Published 30/11/2012 | 05:00

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THE VHI's special investigation unit has recovered €7m on treatments which were being wrongly claimed for.

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A spokeswoman said the work carried out by the unit helps recover any benefit paid in cases of incorrect invoicing.

The most common areas which led to wrong invoices include:

• Incorrect accommodation fees being invoiced by a hospital. For example a private room billed where the patient occupied a semi-private room.

• Incorrect consultant charges, where the doctor could be paid for cancelled surgical procedures.

• Private fees being raised for patients who were treated in a public capacity.

• Incorrect data being entered on the claim by providers.

The spokeswoman said after errors were identified, VHI would notify the provider in question and deduct the monies involved.

"They are also asked to ensure that their processes are amended to prevent any recurrence," she said.

"The work conducted by the investigation unit has allowed VHI to recover a significant amount of money but has also allowed us to work with hospitals and providers to improve the systems that they have in place to ensure the appropriateness of their invoicing. Customers should be vigilant when examining their claims statements, which outline the details of the treatment they have received.

Confidence

"They are asked to notify the investigation unit – in the strictest of confidence – if they think that there is a mistake on their statement.

VHI, which is under pressure from Health Minister Dr James Reilly to cut costs, said it spent more than €1.23bn last year funding the healthcare needs and medical expenses of its customers countrywide.

Irish Independent

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