Online payment 
for hospital bills

FirstCaribbean sets up system with HSA

Patients at the Cayman Islands Hospital won’t have to leave their sick beds to pay their medical bills with the launch of a new online payment system.

The Health Services Authority and FirstCaribbean International Bank have set up an online payment service, which the Authority says will reduce the time, cost and risks related to handling cheques and cash, as well as provide more flexibility for patients to pay bills and the ability to print receipts as proof of payment.

Lizzette Yearwood, chief executive officer of the Health Services Authority, said the arrangement with the bank is a “major step forward” for the healthcare provider.

“It is a hopeful sign and very much the direction in which the HSA has long needed to move,” she said. “It is a tremendous facility, of course, for FirstCaribbean customers, but more than that, a great opportunity for us as we consolidate the gains we have made in achieving financial stability.

“We hope this will bring home to people how important it is that they pay their HSA bills in a timely fashion,” Ms Yearwood said, “and that the Authority will quickly assume a profile similar to that of other service providers such as the telephone, water and electricity companies.”

Richard Lewis, cash management sales associate at FirstCaribbean, said that making Health Services Authority invoices part of the bank’s online facilities will help the public understand that the HSA is similar to other local businesses.

“Recognising that the HSA is among the most prominent local organisations with which almost everyone in Cayman comes in contact at one time or another, and realising how important it is that people pay their HSA bills on time, we have worked long and hard with the authority to create this facility,” he said.

“By putting the Authority into the system alongside other Cayman businesses, we make it easy to gain access to HSA payment facilities, enabling the organisation to become part of everyone’s regular monthly bill-paying routine,” he added.

Currently, only customers of FirstCaribbean will be able to use the service, as those who want to pay their bills online must have a FirstCaribbean deposit account and a registration agreement for Internet banking.

The bank’s online payment system involves a four-step process to pay medical bills over the Internet.

FirstCaribbean’s Customer Service Centre will configure patients’ files, report specifications and accounts within the bank’s system “We think this will prove a popular and added-value service for our customers, and we are pleased to be able to offer it,” said Mr. Lewis. “Anything that helps streamline the financial well-being of Cayman’s main healthcare provider must be a good thing.”

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Ms Yearwood
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