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Bagong modus! Ping bares details of new moneymaking scheme at PhilHealth

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Not even a new leadership could stop the wise guys at the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) from drawing up new moneymaking schemes at the expense of government and taxpayers.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Saturday bared details of the new modus centered on the PhilHealth’s Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM).

Under the modus, hundreds of millions of pesos in PhilHealth funds were released to hospitals, some of them unaccredited, that register a total of one COVID-19 patient.

“This new malevolent scheme led to the release of hundreds of millions of pesos in record time – in one or two weeks – to a few unaccredited hospitals that register only one COVID-19 patient,” Lacson said in a statement.

“Corruption in PhilHealth seems to have become the rule rather than the exception. And the threat posed by COVID-19 seems to have emboldened rather than deterred it,” he added.

Lacson noted the IRM was drawn up purportedly to support the national government’s response to the COVID-19 threat.

The IRM gives PhilHealth the authority to provide special privilege in the form of substantial aid to “eligible” Health Care Institutions (HCIs).

In an interview on DWIZ, Lacson said some P443 million had been released under IRM to at least five hospitals in Bicol and Eastern Visayas.

“Sa Bicol in a span of 2 weeks released agad ang P247M at sa Region 8 naman in a span of 1 week nakapag-release ng P196M pero ang pasyente, ang COVID patient nila, iisa. Samantalang ang daming hospital na punong puno ng COVID patients yet nagkukumahog makasingil sa PhilHealth. Ito lang ang nakakagulat na allegation,” he said.

Citing initial information, Lacson said the hospitals in Catarman (Region 8) were unaccredited, though he also questioned the speed with which the funds were released.

“Paano ma-justify na sinuportahan ng PhilHealth ng napakalaking pera ang sinasabi lang nila purportedly kasi para tulungan ang national government para ma-address ang threat ng pandemic? E hindi ganoon ang tamang pag-assist kung mag-release ka sa iilang hospital ng ganoong kalaking halaga na iisa lang ang COVID patient,” he said.

Lacson said the IRM and other “mind-blowing” controversies will be the focus of the Senate inquiry in the coming days when Congress starts its Second Regular Session.

He said they will file on Monday a Senate resolution seeking to convene the Senate into a Committee of the Whole to conduct the inquiry.

Lacson said the inquiry “will show you how even the COVID-19 crisis has created more opportunities for systemic corruption in PhilHealth to flourish.”

“As long as the responsible officials are not made accountable for their misdeeds, PhilHealth will continue to bleed dry, thus running the risk of becoming bankrupt sooner than we think,” he added.

“Alam mo yung ang lalaking halaga nito. Hindi nila kayang dalhin yan kung saan sila pupunta,” he added.

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