B. Braun Avitum denies misrepresenting PhilHealth IRM application

Published August 21, 2020, 2:21 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Medical company B. Braun Avitum Philippines Inc. has denied allegations they misrepresented its application for Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) funds, saying they applied in good faith with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

(bbraun.ph / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a statement, B. Braun Avitum said it does not conduct business through favors or any means other than “legitimate, above-board transactions at all times,” contrary to what senators insinuated during the Senate investigation on PhilHealth.

“B. Braun Avitum applied to avail of the IRM fund in good faith, based on the guidelines from PhilHealth. We did not misrepresent our application for IRM funds to be used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients,” the dialysis center said in a statement.

Senators had earlier questioned the release of P45 million in cash advances to B. Braun Avitum through PhilHealth’s IRM policy despite the fact IRM funds are supposed to be allocated for hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.

The company was also linked to the P9.7-million PhilHealth fund that was wrongly credited by regional officials of the State health insurer to a rural bank in Bataan.

The company said there is no way that B. Braun Avitum could be considered “highly favored” among other health facilities.

“Out of the 18 IRM fund applications submitted by B. Braun Avitum, only five were approved. For these five applications, the submission of Memoranda of Agreement (MoA) was done towards the end of March 2020,” it said in a statement.

“The first release of funds was received only on 27th April, while the rest were received by B. Braun Avitum a week later on the first week of May. There is no truth to the allegations that B. Braun Avitum is favored,” the company added.

The company also said reimbursements made to B. Braun Avitum have always been deposited online to their nominated bank — Deutsche Bank Manila.

“B. Braun Avitum is in no way involved in the PhilHealth credit of P9.7-million to a rural bank in Balanga, Bataan. We do not own a bank account in any bank in Balanga, Bataan,” the company said.

The company denied they are operating “ghost dialysis machines” in B. Braun Avitum, in response to Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s questions on the company’s excessive number of dialysis sessions.

They said the company owns and operates 25 dialysis centers in Luzon, providing more than 27,000 treatments a month for over 3,000 patients.

“The assumed operating days of five days a week does not apply to B. Braun Avitum because all our centers are open six days a week. This translates to an average of 96 treatments per month, compared to the 72 assumed and mentioned in the Senate hearing, which led to the Senate being informed of the 133 percent capacity rate,” the company said.

“B. Braun Avitum has absolutely no ‘ghost machines’ in any of the centers we operate.”