PhilHealth urged anew to pay private hospital claims

PhilHealth urged anew to pay private hospital claims

MANILA – Malacañang on Tuesday renewed its call on the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to settle the unpaid claims of private hospitals.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the call after some private hospitals have expressed their plan to sever ties with PhilHealth over its continued failure to pay reimbursement claims.

In a virtual press conference, Roque told PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Dante Gierran to heed President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to address the issue of unpaid claims of private hospitals.

“Siguro po, mananawagan tayo ulit kay President Gierran, paulit-ulit pong sinasabi ni Presidente sa kaniya, hayaan mo nang bayaran nang bayaran iyan dahil sa panahon ng pandemya talagang magkakagulo at magkakaroon ng kakulangan kung ang mga pribadong ospital ay hindi kasama sa Universal Health Care (Perhaps, we will call on President Gierran, the President keeps on telling him to pay [the unpaid claims] because amid the pandemic, it will really be chaotic and there will be shortcomings if private hospitals are not part of the Universal Health Care),” Roque said.

On Monday, Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. president Jose Rene de Grano said some hospitals in Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, and General Santos City have signified their intent not to renew their accreditation with PhilHealth.

De Grano added that more hospitals are expected to announce in the next two weeks their plan to disengage from PhilHealth.

He said private hospitals have expressed dismay that PhilHealth failed to act on their request to pay the unpaid claims that are mostly for the services rendered to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients by October.

Roque, the primary author of Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law, reminded PhilHealth that the country’s healthcare system would be at stake, if private hospitals decide to cut ties with the state insurer.

“Hindi po magtatagumpay ang Universal Health Care kung wala ang kooperasyon ng mga pribadong ospital dahil mas marami po ang nagbibigay ng serbisyo sa atin ngayon na pribadong ospital kaysa sa pang-gobyernong ospital (Our Universal Health Care will not succeed without the cooperation of private hospitals because they offer more services compared to government-run hospitals),” he said.

Roque expressed hope that private hospitals would not pursue their plan, assuring them that they have Duterte’s full support.

“Ako po ay nakikiusap naman sa mga pribadong ospital, paulit-ulit naman po na pinapakita ni Presidente ang suporta niya sa mga pribadong ospital dahil kinikilala po natin na mas maraming umaasa ngayon sa mga pribadong ospital kaysa doon sa mga numero ng pampublikong ospital (I am pleading the private hospitals. The President has repeatedly shown his support for private hospitals because we are acknowledging that many are relying now on private hospitals instead of relying on public hospitals),” he said. (PNA)

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