NBI files charges vs 21 PhilHealth execs over 'ghost' dialysis claims


Posted at Aug 28 2019 04:22 PM

MANILA — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday said it filed criminal complaints against 21 officials and employees of the state health insurance corporation in connection with the alleged misuse of funds on "ghost" dialysis treatments. 

WellMed Dialysis Center in Quezon City allegedly made payment claims for dead patients from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) from 2016 to 2018. 

In a complaint filed before the Department of Justice, the NBI said 21 officials of PhilHealth-Metro Manila that dealt with WellMed violated the anti-graft law, National Health Insurance Act, and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. 

Among those tagged in the complaint were members of PhilHealth-Metro Manila's sub-accreditation committee and its branch manager Dr. Lolita Tuliao. 

Tuliao allegedly approved the accreditation of WellMed earlier this year despite an ongoing fact-finding investigation into its alleged ghost claims, said the NBI. 

The respondents also allegedly failed to conduct periodic monitoring of health care institutions in violation of the National Health Insurance Act, added the complaint. 

Philhealth has suspended payments to WellMed, the agency's deputy spokesperson Rey Balena said in June. 

Authorities last June 10 arrested the owner of the dialysis center, Dr. Brian Sy, on charges of estafa, falsification of public documents, and violation of the PhilHealth law. He was released from detention on Sunday after posting a P72,000 bail. 

WellMed has said it "would not, in any way, consent to, or participate in any 'ghost dialysis' or fraudulent scheme." 
-- Report from Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News