“Plunder Report vs Ex-PhilHealth Director, Archdiocese of Manila, Hospital Over Missing P170 M”

Rodante Marcoleta

Lawmakers threatened to propose corruption charges against a former Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), the Archdiocese of Manila, and the hospital it operates over allegedly one hundred seventy million pesos missing funds.

Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta disclosed that in 2011, PhilHealth allegedly requested two hundred forty million pesos from the Cardinal Santos Medical Center because the hospital allegedly was under-deduced from the patient payment balances.

Citing records, Marcoleta said the hospital reportedly lodged claims for medical services with PhilHealth but only deducted a flat rate of three thousand pesos from the state health insurer’s members’ accounts. According to the representative, under deduction, happens when a doctor deducted only a flat rate from a patient’s hospital bills but paid PhilHealth for the full cost of the medical care rendered to the patient. For instance, the patient’s hospital bill is sixty thousand pesos and was paid in full by PhilHealth but the hospital deducted only three thousand pesos from the patient’s bill.

Marcoleta said this “under deduction” contributed to two hundred forty million pesos out of around forty-eight thousand members of PhilHealth to be reimbursed by the state health insurer from the hospital administrator, Hospital Managers Inc. (HMI). However, HMI filed a lawsuit against PhilHealth instead of refunding the said number, Marcoleta said. The case ended in a settlement where HMI reimbursed PhilHealth for merely seventy million pesos.

Lawmakers sought clarification from the former senior vice president of PhilHealth for Legal Edgar Asuncion who was not present at the hearing on Tuesday

Cavite Rep. Jesus Crispin Remulla said law enforcement agencies must be sent out to find Asuncion and guide the National Investigation Bureau to investigate the lodging of charges for plunder.

The Cardinal Santos Medical Center, HMI, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila will be included in the cases, said Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor, should the House panels recommend the filing of plunder charges. According to the executive Chief Audit of PhilHealth, Atty. In 2011 Cardinal Santos Medical Center was purchased by Jay Villegas, Archdiocese of Manila.

If Atty Ascension gives them no explanation this committee will recommend the filing of charges of theft based on the arbitration and legal documents provided to them by PhilHealth and to bring a case against Atty. Edgar Asunción,’ said the Defender.

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