The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved the rollout of the new debit-credit payment method (DCPM) for Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) reimbursements in areas with high risk of Covid-19 spread, Malacañang announced on Friday.

Initially, the DCPM was only available in Metro Manila, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga and Rizal.

The DCPM is used to facilitate the settlement of accounts payable to healthcare facilities during the state of public health emergency brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque said areas regarded as having high risk and critical risk would also be prioritized in the government’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout, human health resource deployment and other relevant Covid-19 response measures.

Earlier this month, President Rodrigo Duterte directed PhilHealth to speed up its payment of hospitals’ valid claims. The DCPM was a measure approved to expedite the reimbursement of hospitals.

PhilHealth chief Dante Gierran has admitted that the state insurer had been slow in paying hospitals’ claims due to reduced workforce. John Ezekiel J. Hirro