PhilHealth urged to speed up payment of unpaid claims to private hospitals
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) should quickly pay up pending claims to private hospitals threatening to withdraw their accreditation from the state health insurer.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, chair of the Senate health committee, made the appeal after the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAPi) said its members might not renew their PhilHealth accreditation due to unpaid reimbursements reportedly worth around P2.5 billion.
“I will request (PhilHealth President Ricardo) Morales na bilisan naman po ang pagbayad sa mga private hospitals kasi sila mismo kailangan din ng pondo,” Go told reporters at the Senate on Wednesday.
(I will request Philhealth President Ricardo Morales to expedite the processing of payments to private hospitals because they themselves need the fund to operate).
“Sa mga private hospitals, wag po natin itong gawing dahilan na ‘di natin mabibigyan ng serbisyo ang ating mga pasyente,” he, likewise, said.
(To private hospitals, do not use this as a reason to deny medical service to patients).
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act may be compromised should private hospitals withdraw their PhilHealth accreditation.
“The capacity to provide tertiary care to patients, even secondary care to patients who are sick would be compromised,” the health chief said.
“So I appeal that they don’t have their accreditation withdrawn because it’s really going to compromise health care [in] this country,” he added.
According to Go, he had already arranged a meeting between Morales and PHAPi President Rustico Jimenez last month, where both parties had agreed to settle their issues.
“Last month ay ako po ang nag-arrange between Rustico Jimenez, yung sa Philippine private hospital at Gen. Morales, nagkasundo sila na ayusin po ang dapat mga ayusin at bayaran po ang mga dapat bayaran,” he said.
(Last month, I already arranged a meeting between Rustico Jimenez and Gen. Morales; they agreed to settle what needs to be settled and to pay what needs to be paid.)
The Senate health committee, meanwhile, countered reports that private hospitals would withdraw their PhilHealth accreditation.
If needed, Go said he is willing to mediate a dialogue between PhilHealth and the private hospitals’ organization.
“Kung kailangan, ipapatawag sa Senado. Ipapatawag natin sila para mapakinggan ang both sides,” he said.
(If needed, I will call them over. I will call them over so that we can hear from both sides.)
“Tulungan na lang tayo…Ako na po ang nananawagan sa mga PhilHealth officials, sa mga private hospitals. ‘Di po nakakaintay ang ating mga pasyente lalung-lalo na sa serbisyo sa pagpapagamot. Importanteng importante po ‘yan,” he said.
(Let’s help each other. I’m appealing to PhilHealth officials and to private hospitals. Our patients could not wait, especially for medical services. That’s very important)./ac
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