Cebu City hospital denies fraud in claim of PhilHealth benefits
CEBU CITY—A private hospital on Tuesday said it did not mishandle the processing of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) benefits due their patients after the National Bureau of Investigation filed graft charges against eight officials of the state health insurer and three hospital officers.
In a statement, Chong Hua Hospital denied approving an alleged fraudulent claim of a 41-year-old patient who it turned out had not contracted COVID-19.
“We would like to conclusively state that our claims, filing and reimbursement procedures for the implementation of COVID-19 benefits for inpatient care are fully compliant with all PhilHealth circulars and guidelines,” the hospital said.
“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 of any anomalies, and vindicate our good name,” it said.
The NBI in Central Visayas on Monday filed the complaints in the Office of the Ombudsman, citing fraudulent transactions involving a “fake” COVID-19 patient.
Rennan Augustus Oliva, the NBI regional director, said the patient was made to appear as a front-liner who tested positive for COVID-19 and claimed P193,000 in benefits from PhilHealth.
But the agency later learned that the patient, who died on April 10 last year, was neither a front-liner nor was he positive for COVID-19.
PhilHealth officials in Central Visayas said they would answer the charges “in the right forum.” —ADOR VINCENT MAYOL
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