The group of hospitals is also now concerned about the possible impact of the more infectious Delta variant of COVID-19. As a result, they are also asking PhilHealth to pay unsettled claims.
At the Senate subcommittee on health hearing on the Pandemic Protection Act proposal, Dr. Jaime Almora, president of the Philippine Hospital Association (PHA), said they are more afraid of the new variant that could potentially cause more cases.
“Itong variant na padating dito kami natatakot. With the current problem we face in the hospitals, our lack of workforce, and the unresolved COVID-19 claims, we are really in a big problem. Considering our countrymen are tired of being quarantined or isolated,” he said.
The PHA, which is made up of public and private hospitals, also has a problem with PhilHealth’s slowness in paying their COVID-19 claims.
Almora said only 15 percent of the total claims of their member-hospitals had been paid by PhilHealth since March 2020.
Because of this, some hospitals are struggling with their budget.
“Sa PhilHealth po we have been telling them about the problem pero apparently mabagal lang po pagbayad, nasa 15 percent pa lang yung payment ng claims since March 2020 kaya wala din kami pambili ng PPE,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier ordered PhilHealth to expedite the payment of hospitals.
Hospitals fear Delta variant, ask PhilHealth to pay debt
In May, PhilHealth assured that its funds are enough to pay for the hospitals’ claims which already reached billions of pesos.
“PhilHealth reiterates its commitment to pay its obligations to its partner hospitals,” the agency said in a statement.
“It has sufficient funds to fulfill its obligations,” it said.
PhilHealth’s failure to pay is already forcing private and public hospitals to use their savings and take out loans, according to the Philippine Hospital Association (PHA).
“Recognizing the need of the hospitals for funds especially in highly critical areas for COVID as identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Infectious Diseases, PhilHealth has introduced the Debit-Credit Payment Method (DCPM) wherein 60% of good ‘in process claims’ are paid outright to qualified hospitals minus 2% withholding tax, while the remaining 40% shall be paid after claims processing and reconciliation, minus 2% withholding tax,” it said.