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    Naval Hospital Bremerton Comptroller Sleuths Recover Lost Revenue

    Naval Hospital Bremerton Comptroller Sleuths Recover Lost Revenue

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Gretchen Albrecht | Group recognition for a team-effort...Naval Hospital Bremerton's (NHB) Uniformed...... read more read more



    Story by Douglas Stutz 

    Naval Hospital Bremerton

    A dedicated team of comptroller sleuths at Naval Hospital Bremerton’s (NHB) Uniformed Business Office were recognized for identifying errors in a complex billing process with the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller) Fiscal Year 2016 award.

    The Uniformed Business Office team comprised of Yvette Guerrero, Elizabeth Tellez, Janet Scott, Wynette Cuyos, Marilyn Case, Evangeline Urubio, Jeffrey Woods, Arlene Dantes, Bethany Kramer and Maria Itchon were selected for ‘team achievement in Accounting and Audit, Echelon III.’

    “NHB was the only Navy Medicine facility to receive this prestigious award for their accounting excellence from the Assistant Secretary of the Navy which is a direct reflection of them as comptrollers. Well done shipmates,” said Capt. Jeffrey Bitterman, NHB Commanding Officer.

    Their collective efforts centered on a problem that arose shortly after the implementation of Armed Forces Billing and Collection Utilization Solution (ABACUS), an upgraded software system designed to assist military treatment facilities (MTF) like NHB with billing and collecting reimbursement from third parties for medical treatment.

    “The ABACUS system began in 2015. It was discovered that there was a pattern of outpatient third party collections dropping. Our team put in a lot of hard work to determine just how this was taking place and why. We recognized that revenue was being lost, especially from the Pharmacy. There were layers upon layers of raw data the team had to wade through, analyze and process,” explained Ms. Elizabeth Tellez, Uniformed Business Officer supervisor.

    The team manually went through on a steady, daily basis to compile over a thousand transactions that had not been recorded by the new system.

    “It’s very specialized. It’s also very tedious. The more that team members dove into the nitty gritty to find errors, they began to notice red flags when things didn’t look right. This was definitely a team effort. Their attention to detail with a little bit of communication went a long way to help locate and repair the problem,” Tellez said.

    The team detected a software error that had stopped approximately 2,000 individual pharmacy transactions from entering ABACUS. They also identified another 600 to 700 individual outpatient transactions not tabulated due to a similar error. This was not an isolated situation confined to NHB. Their determined sleuthing has benefited every Department of Defense military treatment facility.

    “Our discovery and the corrective measures put in place mean that every MTF can now recover revenue had been lost. This should result in the reimbursement of millions of dollars from third party insurance providers to MTFs,” said Tellez.

    For Marilyn Case, NHB financial technician, the teamwork was all part of what they do every day.

    “It is humbling to be recognized, but this really is just part of our job. We would converse with each other and get together to look for errors. Identifying those errors was a time-consuming process. But we enjoy what we do to help make a difference,” said Case.

    Accepting the award for the command provided Tellez with a proud moment.

    ‘We were the only command from the Pacific Northwest and Navy Medicine. It was a huge moment for us. And to be at the Pentagon, with all its history, made it very special,” related Tellez, noting that throughout the entire effort, NHB leadership consistently provided support to the team.

    “Our command leadership was there for us, from Bob (Mr. Robert Tufts, Director of Resource Management and Comptroller) and up the chain. It was important to have their backing. It was huge for us,” stated Tellez.



    Date Taken: 08.25.2017
    Date Posted: 08.30.2017 11:13
    Story ID: 246549
    Location: BREMERTON , WA, US 

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