PACC to subpoena 'red-flagged' hospitals tagged in alleged PhilHealth corruption


Posted at Aug 13 2020 01:20 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-corruption body is set to subpoena hospitals tagged in corruption allegations against state-run Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth), its commissioner said Thursday.

Commissioner Greco Belgica of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission said the agency is in the process of identifying hospitals which received payments off unvalidated PhilHealth claims. 

He said the anti-corruption body found evidence on PhilHealth's unvalidated and unnecessary transactions with some hospitals, recommending that PhilHealth payments to these facilities "be suspended" while their claims are being validated. 

"Magsu-subpoena kami ng red flagged na ospital dahil 'yan to our opinion dapat muna i-hold ang payment diyan and i-validate. So whether sobra o sobrang-sobra it's always sobra mababayaran as we speak today," Belgica told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo. 

(We will subpoena red-flagged hospitals because in our opinion payments made to them should be withheld and validated. So whether excess or very excess the over payments keep coming in as we speak today.) 

A hospital may be considered a "red" hospital should the body find evidence that it has served as an accomplice to corrupt PhilHealth officials. 

"Ang mahalaga ngayon 'yung pera na ibabayad kasi as we speak today may naniningil pa rin saka may magbabayad pa rin (What's important is the money being shelled out because as we speak there are still payments and charging involved) so we have to identify the red hospitals today and subpoena today," Belgica said.

"Kaya nga sinasabi ko 'yung red hospitals, 'yung red-tagged na hospitals. Hindi naman lahat nandaya eh pero mayroong iba na nandadaya kasi malamang iyon ang may mga kakuntsaba," he added. 

(What I am referring to are the red hospitals. Those red-tagged hospitals. Not all hospitals are involved in the cheating process but there are others which are involved in anomalies because they may be accomplices [to PhilHealth officials involved]) 

The body has collected enough "paper trail" such as receipts and vouchers to validate their claims of corruption within the state insurer's office, Belgica said. 

Belgica also urged PhilHealth to suspend officials tagged in the case to hasten the investigation process. 

The PACC's initial probe had found "systemic flaws" in PhilHealth allowing fraud to persist, Belgica earlier said. He said the investigation had identified officials involved and that charges would soon be filed. 

He said the state insurance agency has lost at least P154 billion due to overpayments, citing a Commission on Audit report in 2013. It is estimated to be losing to corruption part of some P2 billion in monthly payment claims, he added.

The Senate is also investigating alleged PhilHealth corruption following revelations from recently resigned agency officials of alleged fraudulent practices in the agency, including overpayments to selected hospitals and gross overpricing in procurement, among others.