At Ren Ci Hospital, 80 per cent of longterm care patients require financial assistance to defray their medical bills. Financial assistance schemes include MediFund, deposit waivers, higher subsidy amounts and other financial assistance.

Due to the different sets of criteria for various schemes, patients or their next-of-kin needed to fill out multiple forms. It was a challenge for Ren Ci’s healthcare professionals to determine
the most suitable scheme for patients efficiently. It was also difficult to track the status of cases in real-time as each department kept its own list of patient cases.

To improve this, the 1 FA Team comprising staff from the Finance, Social Work and Counselling departments and Business Office worked on streamlining the financial assistance application process.

“We mapped out the entire flow of the processes across various departments to identify the problem areas and standardised clearer guidelines for financial assistance application assessments,” shared Jean Quak, Director of Finance at Ren Ci Hospital.

The team briefed all staff involved on the financial assistance schemes to ensure they had a clear understanding of the respective sets of criteria and procedures. Internal processes were also streamlined to ensure that patients or caregivers only need to submit one set of supporting documents with their application form, regardless of the scheme they are applying for. The team mapped out a detailed workflow of the new process and actions to be taken, making it accessible to all related departments through a shared folder.

After the implementation, Ren Ci Hospital reduced the number of steps in its financial application workflow process by 36 per cent, and the number of forms used by 37 per cent. The number of beneficiaries also increased by 12 per cent from 2014 to 2018.

“We had a clearer picture of patients’ financial information and needs, which led to shorter wait times where half of the applications are approved within a month,” shared Jean. “Social workers also have clear and consistent guidelines for financial assistance assessment. In doing so, we are able to ensure that more patients receive assistance in a timelier manner, saving time for both residents and staff.”

1 FA Team
Ren Ci Hospital

Recipient of the Singapore Health Quality Service Awards (SHQSA) 2020 Best Team Award - Patient Experience Improvement Category (Intermediate and Long-Term Care)