PhilHealth withdraws suspension of claim payments

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 29) — The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) on Sunday said it is temporarily stopping the implementation of its circular suspending the payment of claims to hospitals linked to fraud.

“We will suspend the implementation of the circular. We will be coming out with an official advisory on this,” PhilHealth spokesperson Shirley Domingo told CNN Philippines.

In an advisory, PhilHealth president and CEO Dante Gierran said "all other issuances to address fraud shall remain in effect."

PhilHealth’s Circular 2021-0013 provides guidelines on the issuance of Temporary Suspension of Payment Claims (TSPC) against healthcare providers and claims under investigation for fraud, unethical acts, and abuse of authority.

The circular received negative feedbacks from hospital groups, which claim that the state health insurer still owes them ₱86 billion in claim payments.

Gierran earlier said during a Senate hearing that he will consider putting on hold the decision to suspend claim payments to some hospitals.

READ: Hospital groups: Ties with PhilHealth 'bound to collapse'

Meanwhile, the Philippine Hospital Association welcomed the development.

“The announcement is a happy culmination of a long negotiation where the voice of the people has finally prevailed,” said PHA president Dr. Jaime Almora in a statement.

CNN Philippines' correspondent Tristan Nodalo and multi-platform news writer Vince Ferreras contributed to this report