OCTOBER 23, 2019 – The association of privately-operated hospitals in the country on Wednesday threatened to withdraw accreditation from the government agency paying public health insurance benefits, its president said, seeking a fair treatment.
Many small private hospitals in the provinces face closure or difficulty in their operations because of delayed payments from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), said Dr. Rustico Jimenez, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. (PHAPi).
In an open letter to retired general Ricardo “Dick” Morales, some 600 PHAPi members have threatened not to renew their accreditation with PhilHealth due to pending reimbursements amounting to P2.5 billion.
Jimenez said hospitals are forced to apply for loans to continue with their operations.
“Dapat po i-consider kami ng PhilHealth na partner,” he said in an interview with Radyo Singko’s Early All Ready. “Tuwing meeting po namin, nangangako po sila na babayad nang malaki but you may ask any hospital kung nababayaran nang tama within 60 days.”
“All we request is fair treatment sa mga private hospitals,” he added.
Aside from unpaid claims, PHAPi also expressed concern on PhilHealth’s withdrawal of the accreditation of some hospitals in Mindanao as health care providers. It said the respondent hospitals were not given the opportunity to be heard in a formal hearing.
FOR PERSONAL AGENDA?
In the same interview, Jimenez denied raising these issues to position himself in the PhilHealth.
“Hindi ko personal ito. Ang palagi nilang sinasabi na ako lang ang nagre-reklamo, hindi po. Ito po ay buong order ng aming board na ipakita na hindi kami nagkakasala and kung meron ng mga nagkakasala, willing kami to polish our rank,” he said.
Morales earlier described PHAPi’s threat as “empty” and asserted that the possible pullout of private hospitals was only an opinion of Jimenez.
“Siguro he wants to get attention kasi suki ng Philhealth iyan e. Previous president pa, he always had this engagement, exchanges with Philhealth management,” Morales said.
He also called on Jimenez to provide additional details on the amount of claims payable to hospitals.
“Kasi ‘yung sinasabi niyang P2.5 billion, isang linggo lang na binabayad namin sa benefits iyan. Hindi malaking amount iyan for PhilHealth,” he said. (Karen Macalalad with reports from Ria Fernandez / MM)
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