No hospital holiday for Baguio medical facilities

BAGUIO CITY  – Administrators of public and private hospitals operating in the city assured local residents that the medical institutions will not in any way participate in a hospital holiday being vouched by the Private Hospitals Associating of the Philippines (PHAP) just to compel the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) to settle its over 9 billion unpaid claims to private hospitals all over the country.

            Earlier, the local legislative body invited officials of the PHIC-CAR and administrators of public and private hospitals operating in the city to shed light on their supposed participation in the hospital holiday allegedly initiated by the PHAP as a means to compel PHIC to settle with them their growing P9 billion in alleged unpaid claims through the years.

            On her part, Sister Maria Teresa Pareño, administrator of the Notre Dame de Chartres hospital, said that what matters to the management is the delivery of quality health care services to their patients, thus, even with the significant decrease in the settlement of their unpaid claims, the hospital continues to survive and operate for the benefit of patients needing their services.

            Based on her revelation before the local legislators, PHIC paid to the hospital P15 million representing unpaid claims in January before it dropped to 7 million in February, a dismal P1.56 million in March before slightly increasing to P2.3 million in April.

            She explained that even with the P2.3 PHIC remittance last April, the amount was not even sufficient to pay its employees that have a total payroll of over P2.5 million for the said period.

            Teresita Gapuz, who represented the administration of Pines City Doctors hospital, disclosed management is working double time to pool whatever available resources that could be generated from its continued operations to guarantee the facility’s sustainable operation primarily for the interest of the patients patronizing the services of the institution that is why PHIC must fastrack the release of their unpaid claims for the continuity of their operations.

            She claimed the unpaid claims from PHIC has a significant effect on the operations of the hospital and efforts are being done to work out the release of such claims to be rolled over for the delivery of quality health care services.

            Lawyer Rodolfo Sison, who represented the management of St. Louis University (SLU) Sacred Heart Hospital, agreed with the revelation of his colleagues in the city’s private hospitals that the settlement of unpaid claims by the PHIC plays a vital role in sustaining the operation of the medical institutions because bulk of the money will be used to pay their workers and their suppliers.

            While the situation of closing the operation of the private hospitals is remote, Sison argued that PHIC should not overburden the management into sourcing out available resources because once their sources will be depleted, there will be no recourse of the management but  to eventually give up its operations.

            The hospital administrators remain optimistic that PHIC immediately address the gaps in the e-claims system so that the processing of their unpaid claims will be timely and the funds could be used for quality health care services to the people region wide. By Dexter A. See

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