Philhealth to hospitals: Don't withhold remains of COVID-19 fatalities over unpaid bills

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 16 2020 12:09 PM

Watch also in iWantTFC

MANILA - The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation on Thursday told hospitals not to withhold the remains of COVID-19 fatalities because of unpaid hospital bills.

Shirley Domingo, vice president of PhilHealth's Corporate Affairs Group, made the remark after the ashes of a COVID-19 patient in Angeles City, Pampanga were withheld due to an a P1.7 million hospital bill balance.

"There’s no reason to hold any patient alive, namatay, or ashes dahil lang sa bayad. Nandito naman ang PhilHealth para bayaran ang whole bill until April 14. After that, case rate na po tayo starting yesterday," she told radio DZMM.

"Kung naglabas ng pera ang pasyente pwede namin i-reimbuirse."

Doimingo said the agency's regional office has contacted the hospital, which said it was not withholding the release of the patient's ashes but that it was waiting for the family to retrieve it.

The regional office will contact the patient's relatives Thursday, she added.

From Feb. 1 to April 14, PhilHealth shouldered the full hospitalization cost of COVID-19 patients, Domingo said.

Starting April 15, it would impose a case rate on Philhealth coverage depending on the patient's condition. 

Philhealth chief Ricardo Morales earlier said COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals starting April 15 will get the following insurance coverage, depending on their condition:

- P43,997.00, for those with mild pneumonia;

- P143,267.00, for those with moderate pneumonia;

- P333,519.00, for those with severe pneumonia;

- P786,384.00, for those with critical pneumonia.

As of Wednesday, the Philippines recorded 5,453 cases of COVID-19, with 353 recoveries and 349 deaths.