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MANILA, Philippines – The country’s state health insurer vowed it would pay hospitals “majority, if not all” of the unpaid claims it owes them, amounting to P27 billion.
The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) made the commitment during the House deliberations on the proposed 2024 Department of Health (DOH) budget on Wednesday, September 6.
“Within 90 days, we will try to pay a very high percentage of the P27 billion,” said PhilHealth President and CEO Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. “I’m confident that within 90 days from today, majority, if not all, will be paid off.”
“Maybe the question is how do we intend to do it. Our executive committee had a meeting yesterday. We are preparing to use the debit credit payment mechanism formula. We will use that to make sure that our reconciliation will be accelerated,” he added.
Ledesma was responding to AGRI Representative Wilbert Lee, who said some hospitals were turning away indigent patients due to PhilHealth’s unpaid claims.
“Many hospitals do not want to accept patients once PhilHealth comes into the picture. Many doctors and employees can’t also be paid by hospitals because of the huge debt that PhilHealth owes them,” Lee said.
The Commission on Audit, in its 2022 report, found that PhilHealth rejected thousands of claims amounting to billions of pesos.
The state health insurer’s spokesperson attributed the rejected claims to hospitalizations due to the coronavirus pandemic and failure to comply with documentary requirements.