The Palace has disputed the claims of Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. (PHAPi) president Rustico Jimenez that the unpaid dues of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) have reached P75 million.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte on Saturday said that while computerization of PhilHealth records may have slowed down payments, its policy of paying members’ claims within 60 days remains.
“[Jimenez] mentioned some hospitals and there are allegations of unpaid claims that are inaccurate. Not all claims are being paid by PhilHealth because not all of these claims are valid. PhilHealth is also scrutinizing these claims to make sure that the claims paid are legitimate and are supported by documents. In this way, we ensure that the PhilHealth’s fund is spent well,” Valte told Radyo ng Bayan.
She added that PhilHealth has no backlog in payments in San Juan de Dios Hospital in Pasay City, contrary to Jimenez’s claims that PhilHealth owed the hospital a staggering P15 million. Valte said PhilHealth was actually able to pay 1,712 patient claims in that hospital amounting to P26.72 million and that the turnaround time for payment of PhilHealth dues to it stands at 13 days.
The Palace mouthpiece also corrected Jimenez’ claim that PhilHealth has P15 million unpaid dues to Calamba Doctors Hospital in Laguna, saying the unpaid claims were only about P6 million. That amount covered 719 claims that have not been processed because of incomplete documents.
Furthermore, Valte said, Jimenez wrongly claimed that PhilHealth owed Western Visayas Medical Center P13 million since there were no PhilHealth backlogs in that hospital.
“The Private Hospitals Association in Region 6 also issued a statement that they are not experiencing such unpaid claims. Rest assured Dr. Jimenez’s concerns and those of other officers of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines are being addressed by PhilHealth,” she added.
Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian of Valenzuela City earlier urged PhilHealth to pay its dues as soon as possible, adding that its ongoing computerization process was no excuse for non-payment.
“PhilHealth should have had the foresight to see the consequences of their computerization as they are in charge of administering the National Health Insurance Program for millions of Filipinos. Because of the delay in reimbursements, poor patients are caught in the crossfire of hospitals and PhilHealth. That’s clear mismanagement on the part of Philhealth,” Gatchalian said.
“PhilHealth should make the claiming of reimbursements by its members easier and faster. It should not add more burdens to its clients who have to pay for PhilHealth’s supposed share in their hospital bills,” he added.