The state insurer extended its coverage of hemodialysis sessions from 90 sessions to a maximum of 144. The change came after stakeholders complained that some private clinics did not comply with the policy that the sessions could be extended during a state of calamity or emergency.
The Philippines is under a state of emergency until December 19 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, PhilHealth said the expanded dialysis package could be availed of until December 31, 2020.
“I thank PhilHealth for having this consideration for dialysis patients, pero ‘wag na natin lagyan ng expiration date ang pribilehiyong ito, lalo na sa panahon ng malalang sakuna at pandemya,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
(I thank PhilHealth for having this consideration for dialysis patients, but let us not put an expiration date on this privilege, especially during catastrophic disasters and pandemics.)
Hontiveros: Make PhilHealth’s 144 dialysis sessions permanent
“The 144 session PhilHealth coverage isn’t just crucial just because we are in a public health emergency. Dialysis is life-saving, but it is a massive financial burden to have to cash out 12,000 pesos a week, with or without an economic crisis,” she added. “Kaya iminumungkahi ko na gawing permanente ito para hindi na malito sa pabago-bagong polisiya.”
(So I suggest making it permanent so as not to be confused with the changing policy.)
The senator also urged the insurer to immediately release the implementing guidelines for the adjusted coverage of dialysis sessions so health institutions would have no excuse in granting the privilege to the patients.
“I am warning non-compliant dialysis centers that your accreditation can and will be revoked if you do not follow the circular. Dapat mahigpit itong i-monitor ng PhilHealth, at sana tulungan din sila ng support groups [PhilHealth should monitor it closely, and hopefully support groups will help them as well],” Hontiveros said.
The state insurer said patients who have paid for their hemodialysis sessions should file for reimbursement with their nearest office.