ID cards, MDRs are free; report fixers — PhilHealth

Marje Pelayo   •   March 4, 2019   •   1494

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) on Saturday (March 1) warned the public against ‘fixers’ who collect fees for assistance with the application for identification (ID) cards and member data records (MDR).

The state insurance agency said these people use the social media to target current and prospective members to pay a certain amount in exchange for facilitating their application for PhilHealth ID cards and MDRs.

“Such act is considered ‘fixing’ and strictly prohibited under the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007. We reiterate that we do not charge any fees for the printing and issuance of PhilHealth ID cards and MDRs,”
PhilHealth Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Ruben John Basa said in the advisory.

The PhilHealth advised applicants “to proceed to the nearest PhilHealth regional office, local health insurance office or PhilHealth Express in their localities, and to transact with the agency’s frontline personnel directly”.

The public is encouraged to report any incidence of ‘fixing’ or similar activities to PhilHealth’s 24/7 Corporate Action Center Hotline numbers 441-7442 or text (0917) 898-7442 or send an email to actioncenter@philhealth.gov.ph. – Marje Pelayo

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Privatization, case rate payment scheme removal, recommended amid PhilHealth anomaly issue

Maris Federez   •   August 14, 2019

Senator Franklin Drilon at Wednesday’s (August 13) hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee expressed concern on the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s ability to pay its members the necessary claims and benefits in the next ten years.

“I do not know how to sustain these in the next 10 years if you keep on incurring a net operating cost. At the end of the day, you might see a collapsing Philhealth,” Drilon said.

This is after the Commission on Audit (COA) released its report of the state insurance’s yearly net operating loss that has now reached billions of pesos.

To which Philhealth vice president for Data Protection, Nerissa Santiago answered: “Those were the years that we increased the benefits without the increase in premiums.”

Other senators were also alarmed by the alleged anomaly and corruption in the agency, including overpayment and ghost dialysis patients.

With this, former Department of Health (DOH) secretary and now Iloilo representative Janette Garin recommended the abolition of the case rate payment scheme and the privatization of some of the operations of the state insurance.

This, she said, will help eradicate corruption.

“Scrap the case rate case. Push through with the individual membership on smaller premium para mawala po ang [so that we will eliminate] ghost members,” Garin said. (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

Blue Ribbon invites Philhealth officials in hearing on state insurance anomaly

Maris Federez   •   August 6, 2019

Senator Panfilo Lacson

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has set its hearing on the alleged anomaly in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) on Thursday (August 8).

In his privilege speech, Senator Panfilo Lacson revealed that Php153-Billion of Philhealth’s fund had gone to overpayments and fraud.

Lacson added that he had requested to send invitations to several Philhealth officials who can testify to the alleged anomaly in the state insurance agency.

“Mga regional senior vice presidents kasi [These are regional senior vice presidents because] many of the information that we got came from insiders from Philhealth themselves,” Lacson said.  (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

Court junks estafa case vs Wellmed owner, officials

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 5, 2019

The Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) has dismissed the estafa case against the owner and several officials of Wellmed Dialysis Center due to a technicality.

Branch 219 of the Quezon City RTC sided with the motion of Wellmed owner Bryan Sy to dismiss the complex crime of estafa filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

The case was filed by whistleblowers, Liezel Aileen de Leon, Edwin Roberto, and others due to anomalous PhilHealth transactions.

However, the Quezon City RTC said this does not mean the accused are innocent.

“Finally, the court emphasizes that the dismissal of these cases has nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of the accused,” according to Judge Janet Abergos-Samar of the Quezon City RTC Branch 219.

Meanwhile, the lawyer of the two whistleblowers, former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement the dismissal “will derail all efforts to cleanse PhilHealth preparatory to the implementation of the Universal Health Care Law, which I authored in the 17th Congress.”

“The whistle blowers remain firm in their conviction to expose the truth and to seek justice for the Filipino people,” he added.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

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