City awaiting P40 million payments for PhilHealth Covid-19 package

The city government is still awaiting the remittance of the State-owned Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) of more than P40 million as payment for the Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 package of patients who were confined in the various accredited temporary treatment and monitoring facilities in the city for their treatment since the start of the pandemic. 

City Budget Officer Leticia O. Clemente disclosed that the city government already received from the State health insurance corporation some P79.9 million representing the claims of the 3,563 patients confined in the different isolation centers for their recovery.

She disclosed that the PhilHealth claims of some 1,814 patients who were previously confined at the Baguio City Community Isolation Unit and the Baguio Teachers Camp isolation center totaling P40.7 million are still being processed and will be expected to be remitted to the city in the coming months.

However, the city budget officer admitted that the city appealed to the PhilHealth central office some 908 claims of patients composed of 670 patients from the Baguio Teachers Camp isolation center and 238 from the Baguio City Community Isolation Unit amounting to more than P20.3 million which were earlier denied for payment by the regional office for various reasons.

Clemente revealed that among the reasons for PhilHealth to deny the claims for payment to the city include incomplete documentation and the alleged failure of the patients to complete the prescribed 14-day isolation period before being released from these isolation centers in the city.

For her part, City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo explained that COVID-19 patients who were already well in the hospitals where they were confined and were transferred to the step down facilities established by the city because of the congestions in the health facilities due to the previous surge in cases will not be paid by the PhilHealth of their claims for reimbursement on the COVID-19 package since they were considered to have not completed the prescribed isolation period.

Clemente expressed hope that the PhilHealth central office will consider the city government’s justification on why some of the COVID-19 patients confined in the various health facilities and isolation centers did not complete their prescribed isolation period so that the denied claims can be paid to provide additional funds for the city’s coffers.

Under the PhilHealth’s COVID-19 package, the State insurance corporation will be reimbursing to the local government around P22,449 for every patient who contracted the deadly virus and classified as asymptomatic and mild cases as reimbursement for the expenses incurred during confinement in the health facilities and isolation centers that were accredited for the said purpose.Clemente said that the city completed the lacking requirements of the denied claims to support the city’s appeal for the central office to reconsider the denial of the PhilHealth regional office. – Dexter A. See