Hospital billing: TTSH replies

We thank Mr Sim Eng Cheong for his feedback on our hospital's admission procedures ("Remove administrative hurdles in hospital billing"; June 25).

Mr Sim visited our admission office on May 23 to upgrade his mother to a B2-class ward. As there was out-of-pocket payment required for the remaining bill after Medisave deduction, Mr Sim requested that we access the Electronic Letter of Guarantee (eLOG), an IT system used to check on a patient's insurance eligibility.

Unfortunately, the patient's record could not be found in eLOG when our staff checked the system.

In an attempt to not cause further delay to Mr Sim's request, the staff attending to Mr Sim suggested that he could place a deposit and proceed with the ward upgrade.

In accordance with our procedures for such cases, staff have to also explain that any refund would be made after the insurance claims are processed and that the whole process could take up to six to eight weeks, depending on the insurer's processing timeline and complexity of the patient's care.

We apologise that in this particular instance, our staff may not have explained the situation and refund process clearly and adequately to Mr Sim.

We have expedited the processing of the refund with the insurance company and Mr Sim has since received his refund.

To avoid the same problem from occurring, we have also advised Mr Sim to work with the insurance company on allowing his mother's information to be retrieved on eLOG.

We wish him and his mother good health.

Eiseli Loh (Ms)
Deputy Director, Inpatient Operations,
Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2015, with the headline 'Hospital billing: TTSH replies'. Print Edition | Subscribe