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PhilHealth exec says release of IRM to hospitals before June 11 is illegal

Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)’s release of advance payment claims to hospitals before June 11 is illegal, the state insurer’s Senior Vice President Rodolfo Del Rosario, Jr. said Thursday.

Del Rosario made the admission amid questioning by 1-Sagip party-list representative Rodante Marcoleta, considering that the PhilHealth circular covering release of such advance payments, called Interim Reimbursement Mechanism, stated that such will only take effect after publication in major newspapers and furnishing copies to the Office of the National Administrative Register (ONAR) of the UP Law Center.

Marcoleta cited that ONAR only received its copy of the PhilHealth IRM Circular on June 11—an information confirmed by Del Rosario.

“It [IRM release] is without authority, Mr. Chair,” Del Rosario said.

Marcoleta was not satisfied with the answer and asked Del Rosario, “do you agree that the [IRM release] is illegal?”

To which Del Rosario replied, “I agree, Mr. Chair, it is illegal.”

The Commission on Audit, for its part, said that PhilHealth was only able to liquidate P1 billion of the P14 billion worth of IRM releases.

PhilHealth’s ex-anti-fraud officer, lawyer Thorrsson Montes Keith, earlier accused the state insurer’s top officials thru advance payouts to hospitals not dealing with COVID-19 cases and overpriced IT projects, among others.

These allegations have been denied by PhilHeath officials led by its President, Ricardo Morales.

At least six PhilHealth officials have filed a voluntary leave of absence in light of the corruption allegations, while the Palace The Palace has already formed a Task Force to probe alleged anomalies in PhilHealth. — BM, GMA News

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