The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) announced it suspended the implementation of its Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) amid the investigation on alleged anomalies in the state insurer.
PhilHealth posted on its official Twitter account Wednesday night the suspension of IRM.
According to PhilHealth, the suspension would allow it to “review and resolve” issues arising from the ongoing probe in Congress.
The agency vowed to find measures to make the IRM more responsive to the needs of healthcare facilities hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
The House of Representatives started an investigation into the alleged anomalies in the IRM, which was determined as the primary source of corruption in PhilHealth.
IRM funds are provided to hospitals to give them sufficient liquidity for health crisis response, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Montes Keith claimed PhilHealth president and CEO Ricardo Morales of being a “coddler or (who) may have become the new leader of a syndicate in PhilHealth” for permitting IRM implementation.
Morales, however, defended the adoption of Interim Reimbursement Mechanism, saying it is a necessary response for the COVID-19 pandemic.
PhilHealth suspends Interim Reimbursement Mechanism implementation
PhilHealth revealed Tuesday that Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City has the highest amount of claims under Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s Internal Reimbursement (IRM) program for COVID- 19 patients with P326 million.
UP-Philippine General Hospital with P263 million ranked second, followed by the Davao Regional Medical Center with P209 million.
For Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, meanwhile, PhilHealth officials should be placed under preventive suspension to preserve any evidence.
“I am urging the task force of (justice secretary) Meynard (Guevarra). The crooks have been there for so long, and since there is a lot of evidence we have to protect, they should be placed under preventive suspension tomorrow,” Roque told radio dzBB.
“I would bar senior executives from entering the building and put them on preventive suspension right away. Otherwise, we won’t have any evidence against them,” he added.
Morales took a medical leave after his doctor advised him to take a rest while undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma.