Faster PhilHealth reimbursements coming, Palace vows

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 21 2014 05:38 PM | Updated as of May 22 2014 01:38 AM

MANILA - Malacanang gave its assurances that PhilHealth will expedite the reimbursement of expenses of beneficiaries.

The Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. (PHAPi) earlier said is not likely to honor the Philippine Health Insurance membership of patients to protest the delayed release of reimbursements.

PHAPi President Rustico Jimenez said PhilHealth is again taking at least six months to pay private hospitals for their services to PhilHealth members and this will soon affect hospital operations.

He said the reason given to PHAPi for the delayed reimbursements is the ongoing computerization of PhilHealth. Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Philhealth is still adjusting to the new system.

"Kausap ko si Dr. Rustico Jimenez. May commitment na po ang mga regional offices ng PhilHealth na bilisan. Ang normal processing time is 60 days, but I think there has been already a continuous discussion with PHAP. Kasi, ano ito e, nagkaroon kasi ng case… Nagbago kasi 'yung sistema. We are now doing it on a case-based payment system. So there are some birth pains, but hindi ito because of mismanagement, but nagbago ng sistema," Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.

Lacierda defended the management of the Philhealth, saying the problems with the delays can be traced to the payment system.

He reminded hospitals that their work is imbued with public service.

"There is no commitment from government not to pay. Naantala lang. But the commitment of government is to expedite the payment system and may commitment naman talaga ang gobyerno to pay what is due to the hospitals. So the government will not renege on that obligation, that's why there has been a constant discussion with Dr. Rustico Jimenez and with some of the hospitals concerned," he said.