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PhilHealth vows to pay debts to private hospitals this month

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Facing a boycott by some private hospitals, the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) said on Thursday it aims to settle unpaid claims before December.

"PhilHealth is doing everything it can to release those payments,” PhilHealth Corporate Communications Senior Manager Rey Baleña said in a press briefing.

“It won't take too long because we have mobilized all that we need to mobilize here,” he said.

The Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc (PHAPI) last week said some of its members might not renew their accreditation with PhilHealth because most claims for the treatment of COVID-19 patients last year remained unpaid.

PhilHealth has enough funds for the unpaid claims, Baleña said.

It has paid some P152.8 billion from January 2020 until last Oct. 8, which represents 75 percent of all claims it has received.

The payment of some claims is delayed due to a shortage in PhilHealth's manpower, and errors and inconsistencies in hospitals' documents, he said.

To speed up the claims processing, PhilHealth has augmented its workforce and implemented a debit-credit method where 60 percent of claims are paid while they are still under review, Baleña said.

He noted PhilHealth president Dante Gierran also met recently with PHAPI president Dr. Jose Rene De Grano, who said PhilHealth owed private hospitals some P20 billion in unpaid claims.

PhilHealth has yet to receive any letter or notice from hospitals planning to cut ties with the insurer, Baleña said.

“We fully understand the situation and how this affects our partner hospitals. We ask for some more patience and support. Moving forward, they will receive the delayed payments,” he said.

“If some of our hospitals indeed have plans to disengage with PhilHealth, we hope they could reconsider,” he added.


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