Top Cebu City hospital denies fraud allegation over PhilHealth claim
CEBU CITY—One of the city’s biggest private hospitals is denying involvement in a case of fraudulent government health insurance claim that had been investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
In a statement on Tuesday (Feb. 9), Chong Hua Hospital said “our claims, filing and reimbursement procedures” were in full compliance with circulars and guidelines of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), a government corporation now embroiled in a scandal over misuse of funds.
“While we were initially disappointed that the NBI has given these accusations some merit, we are fully confident that a fair, impartial and politically unprejudiced investigation will absolve us,” it added.
The NBI in Central Visayas on Monday (Feb. 8) filed graft complaints against eight PhilHealth officials and three officers of Chong Hua for approving an allegedly fraudulent claim made by a patient.
Lawyer Rennan Augustus Oliva, NBI regional director, on Monday asked the Office of the Ombudsman to hold officials of PhilHealth and Chong Hua liable for allegedly violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and misuse of public funds by falsifying documents.
Oliva said a patient was made to appear as a worker on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 to claim full benefits from PhilHealth.
But the regional NBI office later learned that the person was not a frontline worker nor was positive for coronavirus.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Oliva said the NBI found through documents in the Social Security System, Bureau of Internal Revenue and local government of Carmen town, Cebu province, that the Chong Hua patient who claimed COVID-19 benefits from PhilHealth was not a frontline worker but had been “jobless for many years.” The patient was a resident of Carmen.
Chong Hua said it believed the truth will come out in due time.
“As we echo the public’s sentiments about the socioeconomic costs of this pandemic, we believe that the integrity of our health care system can best be preserved not by pandering to misconceptions, but through informed and responsible social support,” it said.
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