Probe partial operation of JRRMMC-NCGH amid case filed by PhilHealth – lawmaker
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker has sought an investigation of Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center-National Center for Geriatric Health (JRRMMC-NCGH) for its reported partial operation amid a suit filed by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
During the House committee hearing on health, Agusan del Norte 1st District Rep. Jose Aquino II motioned that the panel conducts a motu proprio investigation on the JRRMC-NCGH, a retained hospital of the Department of Health (DOH) to determine and resolve the problem finally.
“Sinasabi ng PhilHealth, accredited pa kayo. Kayo sinasabi ninyo, parang hindi?” Aquino asked the representative of the JRMMC-NCGH in the hearing. “So sino ba ang nagsasabi (ng totoo)?”
(PhilHealth said you are accredited. But you say that you’re not. So who is telling the truth?)
“That’s why Mr. Chairman, (I have) a manifestation, sobra nang isang oras ‘to na harap-harapan sinasabi na may problema. There is really a problem, but the committee cannot just close its eyes sa issue na ito. And I think it’s but proper that there should be a sort of investigation, patawag ‘tong PhilHealth, para once and for all malaman natin,” he added.
(That’s why Mr. Chairman, a manifestation, this has dragged on for more than an hour and a real problem is before us. There is really a problem, but the committee cannot just close its eyes to this issue. And I think it’s but proper that there should be a sort of investigation. PhilHealth should be summoned so that once and for all, we’ll find out.)
Aquino voiced this worry when JRRMMC-NCGH said they were limited in their ability to function because of the pending litigation with PhilHealth. This prompted Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo to ask PhilHealth’s Director III, Dr. Albert Domingo, if a case was indeed filed against JRRMMC-NCGH.
In response, Domingo told the panel that the accreditation of the JRRMMC-NCGH is still active.
“Per update from our accreditation department, the accreditation of Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center is still live, there is a denial preliminarily of the 2023 accreditation due to cases in violation of Section 56(c) and 63(a) of our IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations),” he said.
“It only means na kailangan nilang mag-submit ng (they only need to submit a) formal program of quality assurance under their performance commitment, but to reiterate, their accreditation is live. Accredited po sila. In the same way, we recognize the [JRRMMC-NCGH] as a free-standing dialysis center with 10 stations, and they have no problems with their accreditation as a dialysis center,” he added.
Quimbo said this indicates that JRRMMC-NCGH can operate freely without fear that PhilHealth claims would not be remitted to them.
“So does that mean that the NCGH is also accredited? It is a department of Jose Reyes […] That’s my understanding based on the statement of the DOH, because it is a department within a DOH-retained hospital that has an LTO, so therefore it is licensed in effect. And now same thing with PhilHealth accreditation,” she noted.
The issue of JRRMMC-NCGH’s operation was brought up as the House committee on health deliberated 13 bills seeking to establish a National Center for Geriatric Health and Research Institute in all DOH-retained hospitals, alongside regional geriatric specialty centers.
During the hearing, the House panel approved the bills, with Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido Abante pushing that the centers be allocated P1 billion, just like the proposal in the 18th Congress.