The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) vowed on Thursday to pay 60 percent, or around P17 billion, of in-process claims it owes to hospitals through the Debit Credit Payment Method (DCPM) by next week.
PhilHealth President and CEO Dante Gierran made the commitment during the hearing of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability into the non-payment of health care facilities’ claims by the state medical insurer.
Gierran said PhilHealth will settle around P17 billion out of the P21 billion worth of unpaid claims to hospitals, leaving a balance of P4 billion.
“The payment of P17 billion is already in the pipeline. In fact, we are just waiting for the documentation, Mr. Chair,” he said in Filipino.
“Next week, we will pay our debts Mr. Chair and this would be through the DCPM. This means around 60 percent. The amount that we need to pay to health care institutions would be settled 60 percent outright,” he added partly in Filipino.
Gierran also lamented the criticism the agency is facing due to the unsettled hospital claims.
“ We are battered. I open my heart, we are really wrecked,” Gierran said.
On Monday, Malacañang appealed to Philhealth to pay the claims of private hospitals, emphasizing that failure to do so would “significantly” affect the country’s healthcare system amid the prevailing coronavirus pandemic.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after hospitals and physicians organizations announced their decision to disengage from PhilHealth over its circular suspending payments to hospitals and healthcare providers whose claims are under investigation.
Roque, the primary author of Republic Act (RA) 11223 or the Universal Health Care Law (UHC) Law in the 17th Congress, reminded the state insurer of their mandate.
“My appeal to the Philhealth is to pay what needs to be paid. Because as the author of the law, the law intends that the government, through Philhealth, will become the sole purchaser of all goods and services,” he said partly in Filipino.
In a virtual Palace press briefing on Thursday, Roque said Duterte has directed Gierran to pay the claims of private hospitals as soon as possible.