PhilHealth to pay bulk of P27-B hospital debts in 90 days

By Filane Mikee Cervantes and Ma. Teresa Montemayor

September 6, 2023, 7:08 pm Updated on September 6, 2023, 8:55 pm

MANILA – The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) on Wednesday pledged to pay within 90 days "majority, if not all" of the unpaid hospital claims amounting to PHP27 billion.

"This is on record. Within 90 days, we will try to pay a very high percentage of the PHP27 billion,” PhilHealth president and CEO Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. said during the deliberations on the Department of Health's PHP199 billion proposed budget for 2024 before the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations. "Based on our discussions with hospital officials yesterday, I am confident that within 90 days from today, majority, if not all, will be paid off."

PhilHealth's payables in process that have been unpaid for in 60 days amounts to PHP13 billion.

Ledesma disclosed that the state health insurer's executive board had a meeting on Tuesday regarding the strategy to be used to carry out the payment.

"We are preparing to use the debit credit payment mechanism (DCPM) formula. We will make sure that the reconciliation (of data) will be accelerated," he said.

He was responding to Agri Party-list Rep. Wilbert Lee, who questioned why PhilHealth has billions of unpaid hospital claims when it has PHP466 billion in investible funds and PHP68.4 billion worth of net income so far.

Lee also said that many hospitals do not want to accept indigent patients because they are unable to pay their doctors and employees due to PhilHealth's huge debt.

Earlier, the Commission on Audit said PhilHealth rejected thousands of claims in its report for the year 2022.

PhilHealth, on the other hand, explained that most of the hospitals' rejected claims were due to failure to submit required documentation. (PNA)