President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday directed the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to speed up its payment of hospitals’ valid claims, Malacañang said.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque said the PhilHealth had approved the application of a Debit-Credit Payment Method (DCPM) to facilitate the settlement of accounts payable to healthcare facilities during the state of public health emergency declared amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Facilities eligible for DCPM must be located in regions identified by the country’s pandemic task forces, Roque said.

“These [facilities] must likewise have no Interim Reimbursement Mechanism Fund balance on record. They must be attending to Covid-19 patients or providing the SARS-COV-2 testing package and their accreditation is not suspended during the applicable period,” Roque added.

“Through this measure, we are confident there would be continuous delivery of healthcare services, especially in identified areas of concern, amid the rising number of coronavirus active cases.”

Last week, PhilHealth chief Dante Gierran on admitted that the state insurer had been slow in paying hospitals’ claims due to reduced workforce.

“‘Yung utang, hindi naman matagal [mabayaran], I would say mabagal dahil may rason like itong Covid ngayon. Gasgas na na rason ito but talagang reason ‘yan,” he said.

“Sa madaling sabi, ay talang nag-reduce kami ng workforce namin kaya medyo mabagal talaga yung trabaho.” John Ezekiel J. Hirro