ILOILO CITY, Philippines – Seven private hospitals in this city made good on their threat not to renew their accreditation with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) starting on January 1, 2022.
In letter to Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas on Thursday, December 9, hospital chiefs affirmed that they would no longer renew their Philhealth accreditation after the state-run health insurance system failed to pay them hundreds of millions of pesos in claims.
These hospitals include the following:
- St. Paul’s Hospital
- Iloilo Doctors Hospital
- Iloilo Mission Hospital
- The Medical City Iloilo
- Medicus Medical Center
- Qualimed Hospital
- Iloilo and Metro Iloilo Hospital and Medical Center Inc.
They cited up to P545,094,532.45 in unpaid claims as of August 31, 2021. Philhealth only acted on it on October 8, but this resulted in the accounting of only 15% to 20% of the claims.
“It is therefore clear that [Philhealth] cannot comply with its obligations. We can see that we will be facing the same scenario in the future as what we had experienced prior, if PHIC will not comply with its legal obligations to us under Republic Act 7875 (The National Health Insurance Act), as amended,” the letter said.
The hospitals said, however, that they would continue to serve Philhealth members, but did not specify as to when this would be.
“Our hospitals will still remain open and we will continue to serve PhilHealth members. However, we will no longer deduct Philhealth benefits [nor] process claims. We will provide the necessary statement of accounts for their reimbursement and will faithfully remit the [Philhealth] contributions of our employees,” they stated.
They said this was their “last resort,” citing how these unpaid claims had rendered them “bleeding out dry.”
“We are greatly saddened by this action we have to take. However, we are left with no other choice but to ensure the survival of our hospitals so that we can uphold our commitment to offer necessary and quality healthcare to our patients,” they said.
In September, the hospitals already mulled over dropping their Philhealth accreditation over the unpaid claims. They already wrote to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Philhealth president and CEO Dante Gierran over the matter back then. – Rappler.com
Joseph B.A. Marzan is a Visayas-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.