The admissions and registration department at Parkland Health and Hospital System, Dallas, is not functioning as intended, resulting in decreased cash flow and an increased need to do back-end corrections, according to the system's internal audit division. The division identified 3,646 registration errors associated with $7 million in gross charges from August 2004 to November 2004. The most common errors related to misentered names, client numbers, sex or date of birth. John Gates, senior vice president and chief financial officer at Parkland, said the errors would have resulted in the state Medicaid program initially rejecting about $2 million worth of bills; 75% to 80% of rejections eventually are paid. Parkland's status as a public hospital makes it difficult to get the right data from its patients, particularly in its heavily trafficked emergency room, Gates said. Additional resources are needed on the front end to correct the problem, said Vic Summers, Parkland's director of internal audit services, in his report. -- by Paul Barr
Registration errors slow cash flow at Dallas hospital
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