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Billing system cost NSW Ambulance $3.9 million

by Euan Brown •
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$3.9 million in revenue has been forgone by NSW Ambulance due to communication issues between its dispatch system and integrated billing system, according to the Auditor-General’s Financial Audit focusing on Health.

Auditor-General, Grant Hehir also found that NSW Ambulance was owed $98.4 million by patients at the end of last financial year, and that $86.2 million is unlikely to be paid back. He recommended the completion of a review of NSW Ambulance’s revenue system and patient billing practices by the end of March 2015.

With outstanding bills and forgone revenue, cash-flow has been a significant issue for the agency which sought a $17 million loan from the state government to be repaid over two years, according to the report.

eHealth NSW  failed to complete adequate post-project reviews which are essential to assessing performance outcomes and to capture lessons learnt for future projects. The Auditor-General recommended eHealth NSW set up a process to ensure post-implementation reviews are carried out on all completed ICT projects by 30 June 2015.

Furthermore, almost half of the IT projects administered by eHealth NSW are behind schedule, for example:  

  • The Community Health and Outpatient Care System is now estimated to be complete in 2016, one year late, due to a revision of cash flow projections; and
  • The Rostering project should be delivered two years late in 2016 with a reduced cost of approximately $90 million due to issues with integrating employment awards.

Hehir also found that information security, not data centre and network operations or change control processes, constituted 78% of all IT issues identified in 2013/14.

“The number of user administration process issues increased particularly around timely removal of user access, approval of new user accounts and review of user access levels,” said the report. 

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