THE Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has expanded its essential health services coverage for newborns starting January 5 in a bid to enable early detection and management of more congenital disorders.
Based on PhilHealth Circular 2018-0021, the state health insurer is introducing the enhanced Newborn Care Package, which increases the amount of coverage from P1,750 to P2,950.
“This shall pay for supplies for essential newborn care such as Vitamin K, eye ointment, vaccines for hepatitis B and BCG; expanded Newborn Screening test; Newborn Hearing Screening Test; and fees for attending professionals,” said PhilHealth.
The essential newborn care will include the immediate drying of the baby, early skin to skin contact, timely cord clamping, non-separation of mother/baby for early breastfeeding initiation, and weighing of the baby, among others.
On the other hand, the expanded newborn screening test will enable the detection of endocrine, amino and fatty acid disorders, organic acid, urea cycle defect, cystic fibrosis, hemoglobinopathies, biotinidase deficiency, and other disorders.
“PhilHealth encourages all active and expecting PhilHealth members to avail [themselves] of the said package in order to provide newborns with the needed services that will help reduce morbidity and mortality and eliminate the costs associated with treatment and care of lifelong debilitating conditions,” said the agency.
The PhilHealth Circular stressed that the enhanced package shall be dispensed to qualified newborns delivered in all accredited health care institutions that perform deliveries and provide newborn care, such as hospitals, infirmaries/dispensaries, and birthing homes/lying-in clinics.
To ensure entitlement to the said benefit, PhilHealth said newborns need to be in the facility for at least 24 hours after birth, except those who warrant immediate referral to a higher level facility. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)