PhilHealth still owes St. Luke's hospital close to ₱2B, says exec

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 4) — State health insurer PhilHealth has not yet paid close to ₱2 billion worth of claims of St. Luke's Medical Center since the pandemic started, an official of the hospital bared Wednesday.

"We have accounts receivable from Philhealth close to ₱2 billion. That’s a big amount of money," Benjamin Campomanes, chief medical officer and vice president of St. Luke's Medical Center told CNN Philippines' The Source.

"If we were just a small hospital, I’m sure we would have folded up," he noted.

Senators are looking into a possible probe on unpaid hospital claims as Metro Manila prepares to shift to the strictest enhanced community quarantine this week.

On Monday, Senate finance committee chair Sonny Angara said only about ₱6.3 billion in hospital claims have been released by PhilHealth to more than 200 healthcare facilities, a "measly amount" compared to the ₱28 billion in unpaid claims as stated by the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines.

Sen. Grace Poe, who chairs the public services committee, said in a statement on Tuesday that senators are considering an inquiry into the matter to speed up the claims process.

Meanwhile, Campomanes noted that despite their healthcare workers receiving hazard pay from the government, rising COVID-19 cases would mean higher claims that will need to be reimbursed from the state insurer.

"We are also scared of COVID-19 again because we know that more of these accounts receivable will go up," he said.

St. Luke's alone has reported a 40% increase in its admitted COVID-19 cases in two weeks, Campomanes noted.

There was no immediate comment from PhilHealth on the issue.