FOLLOWING repeated queries and “misconceptions” that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) reimburses cash payments made by patients, families, or relatives to hospitals, a PCSO official reiterated that the agency does not allow reimbursements of any kind.
“Based on our program, reimbursement is not allowed. We encourage everyone to file requests for financial or medical assistance prior to discharge. A final bill must be submitted and a social worker will determine the appropriate amount, depending on the status of the patient,” said Larry Cedro, PSCO assistant general manager for the chariy sector, during a news conference on April 28 at the Mount Malarayat Golf and Country Club in Lipa City, Batangas.
The event highlighted the 2018 first-quarter report of the agency led by PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan, who disclosed P15.9 billion in earnings from various lottery games.
“For the first quarter, we have 120,356 IMAP (Individual Medical Assistance Program) beneficiaries, a 34.09-percent increase from the same period last year. The agency also spent P2.35 billion for IMAP assistance, a 39.96-percent increase from the same period last year,” said Balutan.
The IMAP provides financial assistance to all individuals with health-related problems. Patients must submit a letter of request, a medical abstract and final hospital bill.
After assessment, the PCSO will issue a guarantee letter to the hospital or partner health facility, which assumes the obligation of a specific amount due from the client for services rendered.
“If you pay it using your personal loans or credit cards, we will treat it as a settled case. Remember, we are using public funds and PCSO is accountable for that. Our basic requirement is no reimbursement is allowed,” Cedro said.
If a patient is classified as “F” and admitted in the charity ward of a government hospital, the patient is entitled to receive 100 percent of his or her medical expenses.
In a private charity ward, a patient can receive a maximum of 70 percent, and in a private hospital, the subsidy is up to 60 percent.
“For chemo and radiation therapies, we have a scheme. We enroll the patient to the program briefly. If the patient needs 6 cycles, we can cover 50 percent of that requirement or 3 cycles. For rehabilitation, we require quotation,” Cedro said.
At present, there are 58 “At-Source-Ang-Processing” (ASAP) Desks in partner hospitals and facilities, and 63 PCSO branches where patients, relatives, and families can directly seek financial assistance without the need to go to the main office or to the Lung Center of the Philippines.