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ROUGH CUTS | Davao hospitals true to its mission

Vic N. Sumalinog

SO FAR the best New Year’s message we have ever heard or read coming from the usually  pretentious politicians is the following:

“New Year is all about change; of new beginnings. Whether you are walking through the greatest year of your life, or simply glad to see this one coming over soon, hope for the best. A new year is God’s fresh invitation for you to lean in the newness of things and plans He has for you. New Year is a gift of hope. Let go of what’s behind and be ready for what is ahead.”

And from whom this very wonderful, true to the heart and most relevant message comes from? Well, from the person we were strongly pushing for President in 2010 who is now a senatorial aspirant. For us he was the best President we never had. Yes, this message for the New Year is from now senatorial aspirant Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro, the man we believe, never had any iota of pretention as an up and coming politician.

Will he be able to make it this time? We believe he will with a strong showing. Anyhow, the official campaign season is still months away and the final screening and determination of who will become legitimate candidates instead of being nuisance ones is still far from over. Or, has it been done?

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We are happy that we have not heard of any private hospitals in Davao City joining the planned non-acceptance of Philhealth-charged confinement expenses for the first five days of January 2022. At least it is one manifestation of Davao City hospitals’ patient-sympathy attitude instead of financial greed.

Unlike their counterparts in Luzon and the Visayas that have declared their intention to “hostage” the financial assistance to PhilHealth paying patients the Davao hospitals, we assume, must have realized that their’s is not just a business concern but a huge social responsibility as well.

Of course it cannot be denied that the private hospitals have to earn their keeps if they are to continue delivering health services to the people. Thus they need to be punctually reimbursed of the expenses they may have advanced while treating patients.

Now, is PhilHealth really the only one to blame from the delay in the payment of reimbursements due the hospitals? We do not think so.  The hospital management knows exactly the reason why.  It is on record that some hospitals, large and small, are not that honest in their reimbursement claims. Many hospital managements either pad the number of patients with expenses reimbursable by the State insurance agency, or lie about the number of days a patient had been confined in the hospital, or even ”upgrade” the disease category to increase the supposed number of days of confinement or charge the maximum reimbursable hospitals are allowed.

The latter infraction of private hospitals became more prevalent at this time of the dreaded pandemic. Imagine reports going around that a simple cough is readily “upgraded” to a serious pneumonia because the latter illness means a bigger reimbursable amount from PhilHealth. In fact we heard of reports coming from relatives of patients themselves who claimed that they agreed to hospital doctors’propositions that the death of their relatives be immediately charged as another CoViD case if they want to escape paying their huge hospital bills.

Now, think about this: Very clearly, this is wanton deception by hospitals in order to illegally collect money from hapless patients through manipulations by influential personalities inside hospitals.  And they have the gall to threaten government of non-processing patient’s Philhealth share in their over-all bills?

Of course we know that the reason the hospital managements are resorting to this most drastic move is because they need financial resources to keep them afloat and operational. We however, do not believe that when hospital owners run the business aspect of their institution they are doing it the sari-sari store way. That is, that whatever they collect today from its clients are the very resources needed for them to do their business for the next day and so forth and so on.  We supposed hospital owners and managers know about this. Don’t they?

 

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