THE Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth)-Central Visayas has released around P804 million assistance package to 18 healthcare institutions in the region which applied and were approved for the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM).
Arlan Granali, PhilHealth-Central Visayas area vice president, said as of May 15, 2020, the agency was able to release a total of P803,811,733.10 IRM fund to four Department of Health (DOH)-retained hospitals, one local government unit (LGU)-owned hospital and 13 private hospitals/birthing clinics/rural health units in the region.
Some of these are the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Eversley Childs Sanitarium and General Hospital, Cebu Doctors' University Hospital, Inc., Cebu South General Hospital Inc, Chong Hua Hospital, Chong Hua Hospital-Mandaue, Perpetual Succour Hospital of Cebu, Inc., Mactan Doctors' Hospital Inc., St. Vincent General Hospital Cebu, Inc. and Visayas Community Medical Center, Inc.
The IRM is an emergency cash advance measure applied by PhilHealth to provide hospitals with an emergency fund to respond to unanticipated events like natural disasters and calamities.
This, by far, is the state agency's biggest response to President Rodrigo Duterte's call to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Granali said as of May 28, 62 out of the 111 total PhilHealth-accredited health care facilities in the region have applied for the IRM. Of the 62, five are DOH-owned hospitals, 16-Cebu Province-owned hospitals, 10 Bohol Province-owned hospitals, one LGU-owned Hopitals and 30 private health care facilities.
Unlike those that applied for and were approved for the IRM prior to May 1, those that applied and were approved starting May 1 are to receive their funds under the IRM from PhilHealth's central office.
"Prior to May 1, kami (regional office) gyud diri ang nag-prepare sa vouchers and everything. Starting May 1, sila (PhilHealth central office) na ang nagpprepare and mag release. Waiting mi kay magpasabot man pud na sila nga mao na ni ang na-release diri and tua na sa account sa mga facilities," Granali said.
He said they have already obligated around P1.2 billion (inclusive of both the released and the waiting-for-release amount for approved applications) out of the initial target of P1.6 billion IRM fund for the region.
However, Granali said PhilHealth will now scale down its IRM release and preserve its funds for the anticipated expanded targeted testing required by the national anti-Covid-19 strategy.
He said the current concentration of the IRM release will depend on which areas have the highest population density with Covid-19.
"Pero diri sa atoa, kay usa man ta with the highest population density when it comes to the disease, Covid-19, more likely, naa pa gyud nay ma-approve pa gyud," Granali said.
To avail of the IRM, affected hospitals and facilities may apply and submit a signed IRM contract or Memorandum of Agreement to their respective PhilHealth regional offices.
Granali added the regional office has no control over the approval of any application. He said they can only gather and endorse the MOAs coming from the facilities to the central office. (WBS)