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Palace sees no wrong in PhilHealth reimbursement to Davao-based hospital

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By Prince Golez

Malacañang sees nothing wrong with the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City receiving the highest amount of compensation under PhilHealth’s Internal Reimbursement (IRM) program for coronavirus (Covid-19) patients.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there was “nothing irregular” about the SMPC’s P326 million IRM fund.

IRM is an emergency cash advance measure applied by PhilHealth to provide hospitals with an emergency fund to respond to natural disasters and calamities.

Roque noted that SMPC, the largest government hospital in the country, has a 1,500-bed capacity with 65 dialysis chairs and 3,600 personnel.

The hospital, he added, has “several integrated specialty buildings which are stand-alone, like the Heart Institute, the Institute for Women and Newborn Care, the Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Institute, the Cancer Institute, the Intensive Care Complex, and the main hospital for General Medicine and Surgery.”

The secretary also pointed out that SPMC has the highest income from PhilHealth payments.

“Its average income for 2018-2019 is P1.2-B and IRM is based on the monthly average or the track record of reimbursement for 2018-19. Historically, SPMC has had the biggest amount of claims due to its regular provision of healthcare services to patients all over Mindanao,” he shared.

Others hospitals that received the biggest chunk of quick cash for Covid-19 are the following:

-University of the Philippines–Philippine General Hospital (P263.3 million)

-Davao Regional Medical Center (P209 million)

-Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (P204 million)

-Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital (P201 million)

-National Kidney and Transplant Institute (P179 million)

-Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (P165 million)

-Northern Mindanao Medical Center (P150.2 million)

-Quirino Memorial Medical Center (P150 million); and

-Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (P146.2 million).

Metro Manila, Central Visayas, and Calabarzon have the most number of Covid-19 cases in the Philippines, data from the Department of Health showed.

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