PHILIPPINE Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) president and CEO Alexander Padilla dismissed the allegation of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines that PhilHealth is getting delayed on payments of health benefits to hospitals.

"There is no truth to it. Philhealth is paying around P1.35 Billion in health benefits a week," Padilla said.

Padilla led other PhilHealth central office officials in gracing the inauguration and blessing of the new PhilHealth Regional Office – Cordillera (PRO–CAR) along Leonard Wood, Baguio City.

In meeting with local media, Padilla said there is no truth they owe private hospitals P600 million and assuming they have backlog in payment, this is still within the "turn – around time" (timetable allotted for the payment of health benefits claim).

Giving PRO – CAR's accomplishment as reference, Padilla reported the regional office has no problem on PhilHealth – accredited hospitals as the office has paid claims faster and better with the latest turn-around time is 28 days based on the June 10 to 16 data.

For the first quarter of this year, PRO–CAR paid a total benefit of around P290.86 million in benefits, a 64 percent increase in benefit payment compared to the around P105.30 million payment during the same period of 2013.

For any other health benefit payment – related concerns, Padilla also pointed out that Philhealth is always ready to talk about any problem so as not to jeopardize or delay the health benefits of PhilHealth members, especially those in the marginalized sector.

Padilla also reported that in line with the National Government’s goal to provide access to affordable and quality health care to the poor, through the Department of Health, P35.3-billion was allocated to subsidize the PhilHealth coverage of 14.7 million families or around 50 million people for this year.

With the new "Point of Care", Padilla also said PhilHealth also hopes to provide health benefit coverage to the poor and near poor families that were not covered by national government’s subsidy and of the local government units-sponsored PhilHealth members.

Under Point of CARE, health care benefits will be provided by government or DOH retained hospitals to non-PhilHealth members who will be certified as poor by the medical social worker during the time of admission. (Carlito Dar)