PHIC-Davao boosts breast cancer benefits to P1.4M

PHIC-Davao boosts breast cancer benefits to P1.4M
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PHILHEALTH-DAVAO has increased its Z Benefits package for breast cancer patients significantly, from P100,000 to P1.4 million. 

Dr. Giannelli Kristine Remocaldo, a medical evaluator at PhilHealth's Benefits Administration Section, bared this during the Kapehan sa Dabaw event on Monday morning, May 6, 2024, at SM City Davao.

Remocaldo highlighted the necessity for PhilHealth to provide robust financial coverage to its members, particularly given the rising number of cancer patients nationwide. 

She said that the Z Benefits package for breast cancer patients has been increased to P1.4 million from the previous P100,000.

The agency has already disbursed approximately P2.7 million in claims for Z Benefits, primarily under the previous P100,000 coverage. 

Remocaldo anticipates an increase in claims due to the enhanced package, effective on March 30, 2024.

While no claims have been filed under the new rate yet, the region has received 27 applications this year, predominantly from women. She noted that this number fluctuates due to new applicants and discontinuations of management.

Currently, 21 contracted hospitals nationwide offer the Z Benefits package, with two in the Davao Region: Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City and Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in Tagum City.

To access the P1.4 million package, patients must visit one of these contracted hospitals and contact the Z-Benefit coordinator for guidance through the process.

The enhanced benefits have piqued the interest of Level III private hospitals, which have inquired about contracting the Z-Benefits for their breast cancer patients.

Z-Benefits cover a range of services and rates under "Case Type Z" for catastrophic diseases, including hospitalization, medications, laboratory tests, operating room expenses, and professional fees.

Moreover, the Z-Benefits now extend coverage to patients regardless of the severity of their diagnosis.

“Now all stages of breast cancer from stage one to stage four pwede na makapag-avail this covers the surgery, medication, and even monitoring after that (From stage one to stage four of breast cancer, encompassing surgery, medication, and post-treatment monitoring can now be availed),” she said.        

In addition to expanded benefits, PhilHealth also offers a konsulta package to promote early breast cancer detection, including breast ultrasound and mammograms, expected to be available by June or July 2024, with 121 accredited facilities offering this service.

Breast cancer remains a significant health concern globally, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranking it as one of the leading causes of death among women, second only to lung cancer. RGP

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