Private hospitals, PhilHealth in talks to settle delayed payments


Posted at Nov 27 2020 08:28 AM | Updated as of Nov 27 2020 09:07 AM

A man looks at the sign of a PhilHealth local office in Quezon City, June 7, 2019. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - A group of private hospitals said Friday they were experiencing slow release of COVID-19 reimbursements from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

Dr. Jose Rene De Grano, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc (PHAPI), said they were in talks with the state-run insurance firm to settle the unpaid claims.

"Medyo may delay po ang payment ng PhillHealth pero kami po right now nakikipag-usap na po kami sa pamunuan ng PhilHealth at nangako sila na bibigyan kami ng mga kaukulang reimbursement namin," he told Teleradyo's "Sakto".

(There is a slight delay of payments from PhilHealth but we are now talking with the management of PhilHealth and they promised to give us the reimbursements.)

De Grano made the statement after he was asked if they were experiencing delayed payments from PhilHealth like what happened with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

In mid-October, the PRC suspended its COVID-19 testing of repatriated Filipinos due to state insurer's unpaid debt that, at the time, ran close to P1 billion.

On Oct. 27, PhilHealth made a partial payment to the PRC worth P500 million. It then paid another P100 million in partial payment a few weeks later, prompting Red Cross to resume its COVID-19 testing services.

De Grano, however, noted that some private hospitals were partly at fault for the late reimbursements.

"May problema din ang mga hospitals. Inaayos na namin 'to para madali ang pagbabayad ng PhilHealth," he said.

(Private hospitals were also to blame. We are now fixing this so PhilHealth can pay us.)

In June, PHAPI also criticized the state insurer over unpaid claims that allegedly led some hospitals to face closure.

PhilHealth has denied the accusation, saying it has paid private hospitals some P24.5 billion in 2020. It has paid accredited hospitals with P114.6 billion in 2018 and P97.4 billion in 2019.

"PhilHealth continues to find ways to ensure that claims are fast-tracked and paid within the prescribed period of 60 days as mandated by law," it had said.

"PhilHealth continues to call upon hospitals to reconcile their claims records with their regional offices to keep themselves updated of the status of their claims."

The state insurer has yet to respond to De Grano's statement.

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