SURIGAO del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers on Thursday slammed Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (PhilHealth) officials on another alleged anomalous deal that they carried on very recently without much thought and replete with doubtful details.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Barbers asked PhilHealth officials on the May 14, 2020 Board approval of more than P600 million in late payments to hospitals with rejected claims from 2011 to 2019.
Barbers narrated that since 2011, various hospitals all over the country have been claiming payments from PhilHealth.
He said all these claims amounting to more than P4 billion have been rejected by the Protest Appeals and Review Department (PARD) of PhilHealth.
In an unexplainable sudden turn of events last May 2020, Barbers said without the required detailed evaluation of each claim, PARD reversed its decisions and decided to grant its version of an “amnesty” by paying all these hospitals.
However, Barbers said the Board only allowed a little over P600 million to be paid, out of a total of more than P4 billion in claims.
“How can the PARD and former SVP del Rosario justify this very anomalous deal? PARD is under the office of SVP Jojo del Rosario. With the lame excuse of helping these hospitals cope with the COVID pandemic, they suddenly became generous and considerate after years of neglecting these claims. First, each claim should have undergone detailed scrutiny and evaluation before being reconsidered. Second, how do you evaluate claims from two to nine years ago? Third, why the need to pay those claims that have undergone evaluation and have been rejected a long time ago for various reasons? Fourth, if the reason for resuscitating them is because PhilHealth erred, then these officials are liable for gross negligence and gross neglect of duty under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, for sitting on these transactions all these years,” Barbers said.
“The Board did not even do a simple due diligence and blindly approved the recommendations for amnesty of PARD and SVP del Rosario. They are all grossly negligent and entered into a deal that is grossly disadvantageous to the government. In a matter of days, PARD has reversed years-old decisions and succeeded in getting a Board approval for more than 600 Million pesos. It is just like peanuts for them. What is in it for Atty. Polintan of PARD, SVP del Rosario and the Philhealth Mafia, I wonder,” Barbers said.
House committee on public accounts chairman and Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor instructed Barbers to explore this matter further as this could constitute another case against PhilHealth officials and that if there is strong evidence, that this be included in the committee report.
Defensor also instructed PhilHealth officials to cooperate and submit all documents on this case.