PhilHealth

PhilHealth pays Red Cross P100M more for its debt

Bonz Magsambol
PhilHealth says it is fast-tracking the validation of claims to reimburse the coronavirus tests done by the Philippine Red Cross

The embattled Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) said on Thursday, November 5, that it paid P100 million more to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) for its debt on the organization’s coronavirus testing services.

The state health insurer also said that it is fast-tracking the validation of claims to reimburse the coronavirus tests done by the PRC.

The PRC on October 15 stopped conducting free coronavirus tests for overseas Filipino workers, medical frontliners, and other Filipinos after the state health insurer incurred a P930-million ($19.14-million) debt to the PRC, which already accumulated to P1.1 billion.

On October 27, PhilHealth made its first partial payment of P500 million to the PRC, and resumed its testing services afterwards.

Senator Richard Gordon, PRC chairman, earlier said they were not giving PhilHealth a deadline to settle its remaining outstanding balance. However, he warned that the PRC would stop its COVID-19 testing services again should PhilHealth fail to pay 3 days after a swab sample is collected.

“I will leave it upon them. I leave it upon the government,” he said.

Under the Universal Health Care Law, PhilHealth is designated as the “national purchaser” of health goods and services, which cover COVID-19 testing and treatment of all Filipinos.

Based on PhilHealth’s agreement with the PRC, the state health insurer should give P100 million as advance payment within 3 days so that the organization will always have a revolving fund for testing supplies and inventory. (READ: Did Gordon’s P100M Red Cross deal with PhilHealth violate laws?)

The PRC’s testing services make up a significant portion of the Philippines’ current testing capacity. The health department had earlier admitted that the PhilHealth-PRC issue affected the country’s COVID-19 testing operations– Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.