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Some hospitals yet to receive PhilHealth payments since March 2020 —Philippine Hospital Association

Some hospitals still have not received their payments from Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) since the pandemic began in March 2020, the president of the Philippine Hospital Association (PHA) said Sunday.

In an interview with Dobol B TV, PHA President Dr. Jaime Almora disclosed that some hospitals are mulling to apply for loans since they have yet to receive payments from the beleaguered agency.

"Wala na silang pera, kahit 'yung malalaking hospital. Kausap ko medical directors, nag-iisip humiram ng pera kasi mula noong magsimula ang COVID-19, marami sa kanila ang hindi pa nakakolekta ng bayad sa PhilHealth," Almora said.

[They have no money anymore, even the big hospitals. I talked to their medical directors and they are looking at borrowing money because since the pandemic started, they have yet to collect money from PhilHealth.]

Asked if they have reached out to the government about this issue, Almora said: "Gumagawa kami ng sulat ngayon. We are seeking a dialogue from PhilHealth. [We are crafting a letter right now]."

Without the reimbursements from PhilHealth, hospital management would not be able to purchase anti-COVID-19 drugs and fund salaries for their hired personnel. 

Last March 2021, PhilHealth chief Dante Gierran said the agency has already liquidated 95% of the P14.9 billion advanced payments to hospitals and other health facilities through its highly-criticized interim reimbursement mechanism (IRM).

The IRM allows PhilHealth to pay hospitals and health care facilities for insurance claims, to ensure they would function during times of crisis.

After congressional investigations, it was revealed that IRM funds were also given to dialysis centers, infirmaries, and maternity centers even as they could not be tagged as responding to "fortuitous" events.

PhilHealth has since suspended its IRM system amid the controversies regarding its implementation.

GMA News Online sought comments from PhilHealth management regarding the allegations of the PHA president but has yet to receive a reply as of posting time. —KG, GMA News