P14.5M hospital bills include promissory notes, Philhealth-A A +A
Monday, October 1, 2012
THE Commission on Audit (COA) wants the Mandaue City Hospital to collect unpaid bills from patients amounting to P14.5 million.
State auditors also recommended that the City Legal Office “initiate legal action against patients who have the capacity to pay.”
According to a COA report, the City Hospital failed to collect bills totaling P14,516,035.47 from Jan. 1, 2010 to Sept. 30, 2011. The amount remained uncollected as of Dec. 31, 2011.
The unpaid bills include P4.9 million in promissory notes and P8.8 million in PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corp.) claims.
The hospital’s failure to collect the amount prevented the City “from earning additional income and recovering or minimizing the cost of health services rendered,” the report said.
It was a violation of Section 2 of Presidential Decree 1445, which states that “all resources of the government shall be managed, expended or utilized in accordance with law and regulations, and safeguarded against loss or wastage through illegal or improper disposition, with a view to ensuring efficiency, economy and effectiveness in the operations of the government.”
The COA report also noted that the unpaid bills were not recorded in the City’s book of accounts, understating the receivables account of the City.
Patients who cannot pay their hospital bills before checking out are required to fill out a promissory note, which should be signed by a guarantor, the barangay captain and a friend or a relative of the patient.
COA noted that the hospital has already issued demand letters to patients with unpaid bills, but only partial payments have been collected.
The hospital has sent about 270 demand letters to 27 barangays.
It collected a partial payment of P577,456.52, or 11.5 percent of the total amount from the promissory notes.
State auditors recommended that the hospital intensify its collection efforts by sending demand letters.
COA also advised the hospital to send separate letters to barangay captains requesting their assistance in collecting unpaid bills.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 01, 2012.