Senator Grace Poe on Friday, June 25, pressed the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to immediately settle its unpaid claims to hospitals.
Poe reiterated her call as she cited reports that claims of hospitals and laboratories in Western Visayas have reached over P800 million.
Local executives in the region, she said, have called for help from the national government over the lack of hospital beds, dwindling medical staff, inadequate vaccine supply, shortage of medicines and the slack in PhilHealth’s settling its dues.
“PhilHealth should pay up. Hospitals are battlegrounds in this fight against COVID-19. They need what’s due to them, especially in this time when a number of them are overwhelmed with patients due to the recent surge of infections,” Poe said in her statement.
“Being reimbursed of their rightful claims would capacitate hospitals to fully respond to the needs of their patients – both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19,” she added.
Last April, PhilHealth started implementing Debit-Credit Payment Mechanism to supposedly to fast-track the payment of claims and make sure that all health claims were valid.
Under the scheme, up to 60 percent of the hospitals’ unpaid claims would be paid by the PhilHealth. But hospital officials told senators during a Senate hearing last May that most hospitals were hesitant to avail of the program because they were required to sign an undertaking and were only given “small” reimbursements, aside from the delay.
Poe told the PhilHealth management should review the new system “to determine if it’s fast and efficient enough.”
“Lives are on the line every day. The people should be able to rely on the promises of the state health insurer amid the health crisis,” Poe pointed out.