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NBI creates task force to investigate PhilHealth

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has created a task force that will look into allegations of corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

The investigation of Task Force PhilHealth will also include an audit of PhilHealth finances and a lifestyle check on the state insurer's officials and employees, the NBI said on Thursday.

The task force will be composed of agents from the anti-graft, anti-fraud, and computer crimes divisions, as well as the special action unit, special operations group, and the digital forensic laboratory.

It will be headed by NBI-National Capital Region director Cesar Bacani and supervised by Deputy Directors Antonio Pagatpat and Vicente De Guzman III. It will also coordinate with the Department of Justice.

A prior NBI investigation on PhilHealth anomalies revealed that WellMed, a dialysis clinic in Quezon City, was charging PhilHealth for dialysis claims of patient-members who were already dead.

The investigation had led to the filing of charges against WellMed owner Bryan Sy and former employees Edwin Roberto and Liezel Santos De Leon.

A trial court judge dismissed the case last year, saying it was filed in the wrong court but ruling that the case may be refiled before the metropolitan trial court, the proper venue.

This time, PhilHealth is under scrutiny for alleged anomalies in its interim reimbursement mechanism, procurement of IT equipment, and case rate system, among others.

Its top officials have also been accused of stealing P15 billion, an allegation the state health insurer has denied.—AOL, GMA News