Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) president Dante Gierran on Tuesday assured that the current in-process claims amounting to PHP25.45 billion would be paid within six months to private hospitals.

Gierran made the assurance during a virtual meeting of the House Committee on Health on the latest developments regarding the agency’s reimbursements and payments to hospitals based on its various circulars related to coronavirus disease (Covid-19) benefits package claims.

He said the payment shall be made through the Debit-Credit Payment Method (DCPM), which was adopted by PhilHealth to facilitate the settlement of accounts payable to healthcare facilities during the state of public health emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure the continuous delivery of healthcare services.

According to PhilHealth, the DCPM will allow the speedy release of funds to qualified hospitals nationwide that have signified intention to avail of the new payment mechanism while PhilHealth processed their claims.

Gierran said as of Jan. 7, 2022, the agency has released PHP12.05 billion to 444 hospitals via the DCPM.

Meanwhile, Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo questioned PhilHealth officials about the average turnaround time it takes to process Covid-19-related claims.

Quimbo said it is “unacceptable” that PhilHealth can only process 21 percent within two years and that the agency lacks the complete data on the average number of days it takes to process unpaid claims.

Meanwhile, PHAPI president Dr. Jaime Almora said the planned “disengagement” of hospitals from PhilHealth over billions of pesos worth of unpaid claims means that private health care providers will no longer lend money to PhilHealth for the payment of medical expenses by the Filipinos.

Almora, however, said PHAPI was willing to assist PhilHealth members who will directly shoulder the expenses for the reimbursement of claims from the agency. (PNA)