PHOTO CAPTION: Dr. Danilo Encarnacion, director of the Metro Iloilo Hospital and Medical Center, Inc. and the designated spokesperson of the seven hospitals on the issue, said they are all on the brink of losing because of the P545 million in unpaid claims by Philhealth since early last year./iNEWS (N. Glenn Aragon/Photos courtesy of the Metro Iloilo Hospital and Medical Center, Inc. and Philhealth)
ILOILO CITY–The unpaid claims of seven hospitals in the city of Iloilo by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) have already reached a staggering sum of more than half a billion pesos and if their requests for payment continue to go unheeded, they might be forced not to renew the accreditation of Philhealth and stop the process of collection and reimbursement of patients.
This was the gist of the joint letter sent by the heads of the Iloilo Doctor’s Hospital, Iloilo Mission Hospital, Medicus Medical Center, Metro Iloilo Hospital and Medical Center Inc., St. Paul’s Hospital of Iloilo, The Medical City Iloilo, and Qualimed Hospital-Iloilo addressed to Philhealth and Department of Health Sec. Francisco Duque III regarding the issue. They also gave Philhealth until October 2021 as the deadline to settle their claims with the seven Iloilo City hospitals.
According to Dr. Danilo Encarnacion, director of the MIHMC, their total unpaid claims have reached P545,094,532.45 from the beginning of the pandemic early last year up to August 31, 2021. He clarified that included in the total amount are non-COVID 19 claims, but that a large bulk of the claims are COVID-related.
“We are now at the point nga daw indi na kami pwede makapautang. Ang amon nga suppliers daw nagapang-remind na pirme nga may balaydan [We are now at the point when we can no longer allow treating patients on credit. Our suppliers would now continuously remind us of our dues with them],” the MIHMC director averred.
“We are on the brink of losing with very, very detrimental cash flow because ang collectibles sa Philhealth, particularly sa mga COVID-19 patients, wala gid gasulod, wala nagahulag. (And) this already amounted to more than half a billion pesos—that’s for seven hospitals (in Iloilo City) [We are in the brink of losing with very, very detrimental cash flow because our collectibles with Philhealth, particularly from COVID-19 patients, are not going in, not even moving. And this already amounted to more than half a billion pesos—that’s for seven hospitals in Iloilo City].” Encarnacion added.
He also lamented that nothing came out of the meeting called for by Iloilo City mayor Jerry Treñas between Philhealth officials and hospital representatives a couple of months back. “Waay sang natabu. Puro lang hambal [Nothing came out (of the meeting). It was all talk].”
Encarnacion said Philhealth only made a move when officials of the Iloilo City hospitals decided to write a letter to Duque and Philhealth president and chief executive officer Atty. Dante Gierran. The two promised to settle the unpaid claims within the next 30 days. (N. Glenn Aragon/iNEWS)