MANILA – Some private hospitals in the National Capital Region, General Santos City, Iloilo City, and northern Luzon are planning to announce their disengagement with state insurer PhilHealth this week over delayed claims, the head of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines said Wednesday.
“I’m not at liberty to name the hospitals of the NCR but right now actually there are big hospitals from NCR, the group from General Santos city, the group from Iloilo City, a group from northern Luzon or the Cagayan valley, they are already contemplating on announcing their non-renewal this week,” Dr. Jose Rene de Grano told ANC’s “Rundown.”
He said, however, that he told the hospitals to hold off on the announcements first as they hope to meet with PhilHealth chief Dante Gierran.
“But then I asked them to just stay on hold first because we’re trying to get the president of PhilHealth to talk with the different hospitals so that maybe medyo may maayos tayong solusyon (we can work on a solution) for this so that hindi muna matuloy ‘to (this disengagement won't push through) and we’re looking at it within the week,” he said.
The embattled state insurer owes hospitals up to P20 billion in claims as of August.
De Grano said private hospitals may eventually run out funding if their PhilHealth claims remain unpaid, a chunk of which are for COVID-19 cases.
“The big chunk of the funding of private hospitals also come, aside from the services that we offer sa ating mga patients, come from HMOs and PhilHealth. And because of the COVID cases which are actually malaki (big), sobra rin ang COVID cases natin na COVID claims (there are many COVID case claims), and that’s the big problem that’s besetting the private hospitals right now.”
“If they continue to not pay these COVID claims, then talagang mauubos ang funding ng private hospitals (private hospitals will run out of funding) to the point that eventually they will close down,” he said.
De Grano noted that PhilHealth has been trying to pay newer claims in the last few months. But dues from 2020 and COVID claims remain unpaid.
He said he is still hopeful that they could meet with PhilHealth officials this week, and that an agreement could be reached.
“So within the week we’ll try to do that and see [if] may maaayos tayo dito (we can come to an agreement),” he said.
“And let’s hope that this is going to be a good week. At hindi naman po magkaroon tayo ng announcement na non-renewal (And that we won't have a hospital announcing the non-renewal of its accreditation with PhilHealth).”
— ANC, 3 November 2021