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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Iloilo hospitals on verge of abandoning PhilHealth

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A number of private hospitals may no longer renew their accreditation with Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) due to non-payment of reimbursement claims that has affected their operations.

“If this problem which we have said in our position paper is not resolved then that is what’s going to happen. By 2022, they will no longer apply to be reaccredited,” said Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc, president Dr. Jose Rene De Grano in an interview with TeleRadyo.

In Iloilo, seven private hospitals — Iloilo Mission Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital of Iloilo, Iloilo Doctor’s Hospital, Medicus Medical Center, The Medical City of Iloilo, Qualimed Hospital Iloilo, and Metro Iloilo Hospital and Medical Center Inc. — have threatened to disengage with PhilHealth after failing to pay them P545 million in hospital claims.

“They already told PhilHealth about this and there was supposed to be talks, but our hospitals said unless there is concrete solution to their claims, they will not talk to PhilHealth,” De Grano said.

Last month, PhilHealth said it has P12.9 billion in unpaid claims which are in different stages of processing.

“They have been reviewing for a year and a half and we don’t know when it will end,” said De Grano.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered PhilHealth to settle its debt with hospitals as soon as possible as facilities continue to receive more patients as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in the Philippines.

But aside from private medical facilities in Iloilo, De Grano said there are other hospitals which would soon issue their own statements.

“There are hospitals in North, Region 2 and our member-hospitals in Mindanao and in some part of Luzon that are about to issue their own statements,” De Grano said.

The delayed reimbursements would be used to cover the salaries of healthcare workers and expand its services. He said private hospitals remain at full capacity. 

De Grano added that while there may be some available beds, staff shortage is another issue.

“We have available beds but who will manage these patients if we don’t have enough healthcare workers available,” De Grano said. 

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