Poe says suspension of PhilHealth circular on claims payment only a 'puny step'

Published August 30, 2021, 8:35 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Grace Poe dismissed on Monday, August 30, as “puny” the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (PhilHealth) suspension of its controversial circular deferring its payments of hospitals claims.

Senator Grace Poe (Senate PRIB)

Poe, instead, said she had expected the PhilHealth to implement a “fast turnaround time in settling its dues and improve operational efficiency in processing claims.”

“The suspension of the PhilHealth circular is a puny step to the pressing situation threatening the delivery of healthcare services due to unpaid obligations to hospitals,” Poe said in a statement.

“What we’ve been wanting all along is for the state health insurer to declare that it has reimbursed all valid claims of our hospitals,” she pointed out.

Further delays in its reimbursement to hospitals “is untenable amid the raging pandemic that puts a heavy strain on our healthcare system”, the senator reiterated.

“Papaano makakapagbigay-serbisyo ang mga ospital sa ating mga kababayan kung sila mismo ay naghihingalo na dahil sa utang ng PhilHealth (How can hospitals provide services to out countryment if they are already struggling because of PhilHealth’s debts)?” Poe asked.

The senator has been calling on the PhilHealth to speed up its payment to hospitals.

Hospitals’ associations have warned to disengage with the PhilHealth after the state insurer issued Circular No. 2021-0013 which suspends for 120 days its payouts while it investigates claims of health care providers for “fraudulent acts, unethical acts and abuse of authority”.

On Sunday, the PhilHealth announced that it will withdraw the suspension “to address the concerns of healthcare providers”.

The government corporation said it is currently in talks with hospital groups.