MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) vows to pay P17-billion worth of claims to hospitals next week.
PhilHealth President and CEO Atty. Dante Gierran confirmed this during a hearing at the House of Representatives (HOR) on Thursday (August 26).
“Babayaran po iyan dahil alam po namin ang paghihirap ng mga ospital. Sa makatuwid po ay meron na tayo ngayon expanded [Debit-Credit Payment Mechanism], something like P17 billion,” he said.
The official said they are just waiting for the documents to be completed so the state insurer can pay about 60% of its total arrears to hospitals amounting to P21.1-billion.
During the hearing, Batangas 5th District Representative Marvi Mariño expressed concern about four private hospitals in his province who fear closing down if PhilHealth fails to pay them.
“I spoke with the private hospital in my area just today, Mr. Chairman, and they told me that they might close their hospitals in about 6 months if they are not paid with their claims,” Mariño said.
Gierran, on the other hand, explained that the province is not a recipient of the DCPM.
“Ang Batangas po ay hindi na po nagavail ng ating DPCM, Why? Because they are happy with our ordinary claims processing. I have letters po sa mga ospital writing me that they will no longer avail of the DCPM kasi happy na po sila sa regular filing,” the PhilHealth head explained.
But private hospitals argued that they are not using the DCPM since there is no clear explanation as to its purpose and to whom it is intended.
“Iyong portion po na iyan ng DCPM, may portion po yan ng professional fee, may portion po iyan for hospitals. So paano nyo po i-a-apportion ang professional fee doon at saka ang hospital fees kung hindi nyo alam kung anong kaso ang kino-cover nitong DCPM na ito?” questioned Dr. Jose Rene De Grano, president of the Private Hospitals Ass. of the Philippines, Inc. (PHAPI).
Despite this, Gierran assures that the memorandum issued by PhilHealth concerning stoppage of claims payment covers only those with irregularities or so-called ‘bad claims.’
The official said the state insurer is willing to concede to lawmakers’ request to suspend the implementation of the circular regarding the suspension of claims payment. –MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)