Nsp Revamps Billing System For Low-income Customers

Providers trained on new NC Medicaid billing system

The proposed changes were released this week after a consultation with poverty advocate groups. The meetings were ordered by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board during a rate hearing last year. To prevent bills from piling up, the utility said it will send notice after 30 days instead of 60 days and allow two years to repay. It also plans to put high-risk customers on monthly meter readings and bills. "Better followup, more connection with the tools that are available," said Neera Ritcey, a spokeswoman for Nova Scotia Power. Tess Warner of the Metro Non-Profit Housing Association said the steps are good, but at the end of the day many people still don't have money to pay their bill. Nova Scotia Power has refused to cancel arrears for low income customers, saying that would be unfair to other customer groups. related content
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Impact of New Billing & OSS Systems on Existing Processes

More than 400 medical providers in North Carolina attended a training seminar in Raleigh on Thursday to learn how to use a new statewide billing system for Medicaid called NCTracks . Some providers attending the session said the state owes them as much as $130,000 in claim, since the $480 million system was rolled out to users on July 1. NCTracks, which replaces a 35-year-old computer system, uses different identification numbers for various products and services than the old processing system, and the billing software some providers use isn't compatible with the new numbering system. That is forcing providers to manually enter claims into the state system one by one instead of submitting dozens in a single batch. Another issue keeping providers from getting paid is that they have not updated their electronic fund transfer information in the new system. "We just feel like this could have been better implemented, because, if we don't have money to pay our staff, we can't provide a service for our patients," said Teresa Oudeh, an administrator at Oudeh Medical Plaza in Dunn. "We just think it's unreasonable and outrageous." The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services predicted a rough transition when it launched the NCTracks, but spokesman Brad Deen said he's not sure what could have been done differently. The system has processed claims totaling about $38 million for approximately 900 providers without any problems, he said.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.wral.com/providers-trained-on-new-nc-medicaid-billing-system/12730811/

Glendale's 'smart meter' billing system nearing completion

Smart meter Impact on Existing Customer Data The heart of the carrier's business is the data attached to each customer's name: not just billing and address information, but the services and plans customers expect to receive and the rates they're expecting to pay. Embedded in that data are marketing strategies, customer behavior information and other intelligence. The installation will impact how sales, marketing, engineering and billing staff understand that data. In the past, the whole system limped along with incorrectly entered names, addresses and other mistakes; that data must now be corrected and transformed into a single format for use in the new system. It's a big job. Depending on the number of legacy billing systems still around, data might be stored in dozens of different formats. But what about all the new customers who will request service while the new billing system is implemented over the next year or longer? Do you train the front-end customer service reps to type in customer information in the new format, using the new combination of fields and on-screen forms, or do you wait until later in the year to change those customers over to the new system? The process of acquiring new customers and keying in their data could be the first change under the billing system implementation. Scheduling the Work: Think it Through Few executives take the time to intelligently devise a migration schedule for their new billing and OSS systemswhich messes up everybody's business process. It's not just about scheduling such work for after hours and weekends. Determining which customers to move onto the new platform first depends on the carrier's reason for installing the new system. For instance, is the new billing system designed to make the introduction of new products and services easier?
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.billingworld.com/articles/2004/10/impact-of-new-billing-oss-systems-on-existing-pro.aspx

Joburg online billing system maliciously hacked: CoJ

Gerd Naschenweng Smart meters replaced analog meters throughout the city months ago, but the utility has still been using meter readers to manually report electricity and water use as officials ensure that the system works as intended. About 25% of customers are already being billed through the digital reads, but officials said that after some technology upgrades this month, the entire system will be online for billing beginning next month. The system does work as we expected, said Craig Kuennen, the utility's business transformation and marketing administrator. Smart meters had a rough start in Glendale after opponents spoke out against them at several public meetings, claiming that the radio frequencies emitted from the devices made them sick. Fewer have complained about the user data being collected. On Tuesday, the City Council approved spending more than $700,000 on software and data security upgrades that would protect the personal data gathered through the digital system. Utilities across the country are switching to smart grids in order to increase efficiencies and possibly lighten energy loads during peak times as customers curb use during high-cost periods. The U.S. Department of Energy gave Glendale $20 million of the $70 million it needed to upgrade the city's electrical and water systems. Through the smart grid system, Glendale residents can view their consumption through online portals. Glendale Water & Power is also testing a digital photo frame that shows energy and water use on an easy-to-read display. In a few months, the utility plans to use focus groups to analyze how pilot program participants feel about the frames, Kuennen said. Although the billing switch will begin in January, there are still several parts of the smart grid that won't be complete until 2014, officials said.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/12/glendales-smart-meter-billing-system-nearing-completion-.html

NSP revamps billing system for low-income customers Straight from the horses mouth The person who blew the whistle on the security problem with the City of Joburgs online billing system, BidorBuy CTO Gerd Naschenweng , tells a very different story. Naschenweng said that he discovered the COJ billing system problem at 11:00 on Tuesday 20 August 2013. I wanted to print my Joburg statement, and when I clicked on the link to view the statement, I noticed the URL parameter being the same as my invoice number, said Naschenweng. I then incremented my number by 1 to see what will happen, and was surprised to see that some other persons statement was displayed. He said he then tested the same link in another browser where he was not logged in, and he could still view someone elses statement. Naschenweng became concerned about this security vulnerability, and phoned the COJ call-centre and asked the agent to connect him with IT or anyone who is responsible for the website. However, Naschenweng said he was told by the agent that they could not connect him. I then asked to speak to a supervisor as the agent could not comprehend the urgency of the problem and the call-centre agent refused and put the phone down, he said. I then submitted an email to COJ, but I did not expect an urgent response, said Naschenweng. After he failed to raise the alarm directly with the COJ, Naschenweng highlighted the problem on the MyBroadband forums. Other MyBroadband members quickly validated the findings, and a MyBroadband news article followed.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://mybroadband.co.za/news/security/84949-joburg-online-billing-system-maliciously-hacked-coj.html

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