SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
14 October 2021 06:30:39 PM
The House Special Committee on North Luzon Growth Quadrangle chaired by Rep. Ramon Guico III (5th District, Pangasinan) convened Thursday for an update of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) on the: 1) conduct of Oplan Reconciliation with different health care institutions (HCIs) in Regions 1, 2, and in the Cordillera Administrative Region ( CAR), and 2) status of the payment of pending claims to the HCIs in the three regions. In its hearing last June 15, 2021, Guico said it was vital for the hospitals in the three regions to already be paid by the PhilHealth to unburden them of their financial woes, as well as to guarantee their nonstop delivery of medical care and services in North Luzon during the pandemic. In his opening remarks during Thursday’s online meeting, Guico said he was pleased to report that due to the committee’s initiative in addressing the matter, PhilHealth was quick to deliver a positive response on the issues. “Among others, PhilHealth: 1) issued resolutions and recommendations on the various concerns of PhilHealth and HCIs, 2) conducted Oplan Reconciliation and improved their claims processing, and 3) developed a smoother relationship with various HCIs in our regions,” Guico said. He added that through the ingenuity of Committee Vice Chair Rep. Joseph Lara (Third District, Cagayan), they have adopted, along with Reps. Eric Yap (Party-list ACT CIS), Ron Salo (Party-ist, Kabayan) and Christopher de Venecia (4th District, Pangasinan), the deployment of young workers under the Department of Labor and Employment’s Government Internship Program (GIP) GIP to PhilHealth offices in Regions 1, 2 and CAR. “With this program, the additional staff will augment PhilHealth’s workforce, which will improve the processing and payment of unpaid claims,” Guico said. He said the immediate settlement of the amount payable to hospitals for payment of the medical services rendered to PhilHealth members would prevent the hospitals’ huge losses, financial hardships, closure, as well as their disengagement from Philhealth. “Our committee will continue to oversee and function as coordinative linkages of PhilHealth and accredited HCIs in our regions, as we all arise to the relentless challenges brought by this pandemic,” Guico said. Meanwhile, Atty Eli Dino Santos, PhilHealth Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, said that the PhilHealth Board already approved the grace period, which means that the COVID-19 probable claims covering the period November 26, 2020 to June 18 2021 would be paid. “We will just wait for the issuance of the circular,” Santos said. Rep. Sandra Eriguel, M.D.(2nd District, La Union), co-presiding officer of the meeting, said the statement of Santos “is a big sign of relief from all the health care providers. Malaking tulong po ito (dahil) may mga nagtatanong po talaga, when will PhilHealth start to reimburse COVID claims, yun po ang tanong ng karamihan,” Eriguel said. Meanwhile, the panel approved the motion of Rep. Luisa Lloren Cuaresma (Lone District, Nueva Vizcaya) for them to adopt a resolution urging the Department of Health, Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the Office of the President (OP) to provide more vaccines to Northern Luzon.