Senator seeks probe into PhilHealth payment claims issues

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 25 2021 12:23 PM | Updated as of Aug 25 2021 12:30 PM

The facade of the PhilHealth Head Office in Pasig City on September 5, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
The facade of the PhilHealth Head Office in Pasig City on September 5, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - A senator on Tuesday filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the payment claims issues between the PhilHealth and private hospitals.

Senator Risa Hontiveros filed Senate Resolution No. 880 after the state-insurer issued Circular No. 2021-0013 which suspends payment of claims "subject of investigations pertaining to fraudulent, unethical acts, and/or abuse of authority” for a period of 120 days.

"Which translates to 4 months, which is just untenable in the middle of a pandemic," she told ANC's Headstart Wednesday.

“Ang mamamayang Pilipino ang nalulugi sa bangayan ng PhilHealth at private hospitals. Sa bawat araw na hindi nalulutas ang isyung ito, may mga pasyenteng matinding nag-aalala kung saan kukuha ng pambayad sa ospital," she said in a statement.

(The Filipino people are at a disadvantage in the squabble between PhilHealth and private hospitals. Every day that this is left unresolved, there are patients who worry where they can get money to pay for their hospital bills.)

The senator said this must be prioritized as more transmissible variants of COVID-19 such as Delta and Lambda were detected in the country.

“In the midst of a public health crisis, Filipinos need safety nets in public health emergencies, as well as a financial cushion on the cost of hospitalization," she said.

"If no agreements are reached between PhilHealth and the private health care providers, the consequences will be borne by the Filipino people who are already reeling from the multiple burdens wrought by the pandemic."

The embattled state-insurer earlier denied it has an P86 billion debt in payment claims to hospitals. The Philippine Hospital Association said the figure was the total amount that hospitals spent on patients that PhilHealth has yet to reimburse.

Healthcare providers have threatened to disengage from PhilHealth because of unpaid debts.

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