Senator Sonny Angara today reminded the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to settle all of its obligations, particularly to the private hospitals, which have accumulated to billions of pesos over time.
The Chairman of the Committee on Finance took note of the increase in the government subsidies provided to PhilHealth—from P71.3 billion in 2021 to P79.9 billion in 2022.
In spite of the complaints lodged against PhilHealth for its delayed reimbursements of claims by the hospitals, Angara said the increase in subsidies was necessary to ensure that all Filipinos are covered by health insurance under the Universal Health Care law.
“Universal health care is already a problem to fund even before the pandemic, so we should aim to increase that funding over time to cover the entire country,” Angara said.
Angara said PhilHealth should act faster in processing the claims of the hospitals, which at one point was pegged at around P20 billion.
The delays in the settlement of the claims has led to fears of possible downscaling of operations of the affected hospitals and even closures depending on their financial health.
Recently, many of these private hospitals have also aired their intention to end their partnership with PhilHealth because of the delayed payment of claims.
“In the end, all of these issues, if not addressed, will adversely affect the patients, particularly the less fortunate who will have fewer options for their health care requirements,” Angara said.
“This is one big problem and PhilHealth must come out with immediate solutions. Pag nadelay ang bayad maaaring magsara ilan dyan. Pag hindi naman nagsara mas kaunti maseservice na patients. Sana mabigyan ng agarang solusyon ito,” Angara added.
The Senator earlier called on the Anti-Red Tape Authority to look into the case of PhilHealth and the hospitals to see if it could introduce some interventions to speed up the settlement of the obligations.
“ARTA can look at Citizen’s Charter of PhilHealth. Baka marami masyado ang proseso. Kailangan tutukan at gawin efficient ang pag process ng claims. Hindi dapat pabayaan ito at maaari pang lumala ang sitwasyon,” Angara said.
PhilHealth president and CEO Dante Gierran has held his post for over one year already so according to Angara, the honeymoon period has long ended and he should be implementing a solution to this critical issue.
“We are still in the midst of the biggest health crisis of our generation and we cannot afford inefficiencies by our institutions that are tasked to take care of our people who are sick and dying,” Angara said.w