Ping: This PhilHealth exec jetted to Region 8 to avail early of COVID funding
A Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) executive jetted to his home region in Eastern Visayas so a favored hospital there can avail of the agency’s funding mechanism for COVID-19 patients, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Wednesday.
Lacson cited information from resigned anti-fraud officer Thorrsson Keith and Col. Etrobal Laborte that PhilHealth SVP for fund management Renato Limsiaco Jr. flew to Eastern Visayas as early as March 13 while PhilHealth was still conceptualizing its Interim Reimbursement Mechanism.
“As early as March 13, kino-conceptualize pa lang ang circular ng IRM for COVID-19 agad-agad I think it was a Friday lumipad na kaagad si Limciaoco umuwi ng Region 8. Pagbalik para sabihan ang ospital doon probably Catarman, mag-prepare ng MOA kasi may lalabas na IRM para sa COVID,” he said.
He said this was despite the hospital in Catarman being unaccredited and with pending violations, and having no COVID patient at the time.
Lacson said it was Sen. Imee Marcos who disclosed that Limsiaco’s relatives were incorporators at the hospital.
He said their information also indicated it was the PhilHealth central office that prepared the master list of IRM “beneficiaries,” but without proper explanation.
“Anong basis? Hindi nila masagot yan. Ang sabi lang nila noong una hospital pinaguusapan. Eventually napansin ko sabi ni Morales geographical na. Ang area na yan kaya namin prioritize kasi maraming COVID-19 cases sa areas. Tingnan natin. Region 8, at the time, mga March, zero roon. Bakit nabayaran ang Catarman?” he said.
“Lumalabas sabi nga ni Sen Imee, incorporators pala kamaganak ni Limciaoco,” he added.
Earlier, Lacson said the IRM was used to give funds to favored institutions, even if they did not cater to COVID patients.
With the scheme, non-COVID institutions including dialysis centers and maternity care institutions got COVID funds while hospitals like Ospital ng Maynila did not.