Some hospitals are still considering not renewing their registration with the beleaguered Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) next year amid issues on the state insurer’s unpaid claims to hospitals.
In Joseph Morong’s “24 Oras” report, PhilHealth earlier reported of “upcasing” or the illegal practice of classifying a patient as COVID-19 case to secure larger reimbursements from the government’s health insurer.
But Dr. Jose Rene de Grano, head of the Philippine Hospital Association of the Philippines (PHAPi), denied these reports, saying that most hospitals have yet to receive reimbursements for COVID-19 treatment from PhilHealth.
“Pero experience namin, since 2020, halos mga COVID cases hindi nababayaran,” de Grano said.
(Since 2020, most of COVID-19 cases have been unpaid.)
PhilHealth had put on hold its circular that authorizes the temporary suspension of payment of claims, which was previously enforced against fraudulent health care providers.
Despite this, De Grano said some hospitals are still considering non-registration with the state health insurer in 2022 following the delayed payments.
He further called on PhilHealth to suspend only the questionable payments, not all the claims.
“Kung maaaring may corresponding claims na may fraudulent, ‘yun ang ihohold mo. Bakit mo kailangang i-hold yung lahat ng claims? Parang sinakal mo na o pinatay mo na lifeblood ng healthcare provider,” he said.
(Put on hold only the fraudulent claims. Why would you suspend all of it? You are already killing the lifeblood of health care providers.)
Dr. Noberto Francisco, spokesman of the Lung Center of the Philippines, lamented that their hospital had not been receiving payment from PhilHealth since 2020.
PhilHealth chief Dante Gierran vowed to pay 60% of the P21 billion unpaid claims.–Consuelo Marquez/LDF, GMA News