THE Cebu Provincial Government is expecting higher revenues for its 16 district and provincial hospitals with the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law in 2020.
Cebu was chosen as one of the pilot provinces for the initial implementation of the UHC Law (Republic Act 11223), which was enacted in February 2019 by President Rodrigo Duterte.
In an interview last Friday, Nov. 8, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said the Province has already collected around P370 million from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) through the Capitol-run hospitals from January to October in 2019.
For 2019, the Provincial Treasurer’s Office (PTO) has placed an estimated P180 million in expected hospital revenues from Philhealth. However, the revenues collected in the first 10 months indicate that it exceeded the PTO’s estimate.
In 2018, the Capitol collected around P475.8 million from the Philhealth through its provincial and district hospitals.
“We’re expecting an even higher reimbursement from the Philhealth for 2019. Considering that in 2020, the UHC Law will be fully implemented with the Province taking the lead in such implementation, surely, the estimate of P180 million is well below what we shall be expecting from the Philhealth as income for our hospitals,” Garcia said.
Although the Provincial Government is implementing a “No Balance Billing” (NBB) policy, Garcia said the Capitol-run hospitals get its income from the reimbursement coming from the Philhealth.
In 2011, the Philhealth introduced the NBB policy, which provides that “no other fees or expenses shall be charged or be paid for by the indigent patients above and beyond the packaged rates during their confinement period.”
The Philhealth Circular 2017-0006 provides that the NBB Policy covers an indigent, or a person who has no visible means of income, or whose income is insufficient for family subsistence.
It also covers, among others, a member whose contribution is being paid by another individual, government agency, or private entity according to the rules as may be prescribed by the corporation.
All accredited government health care institutions, including all levels of hospitals and other health facilities, are covered by the policy.
The governor, though, said the reimbursement from the Philhealth excludes the funds coming from the National Government for the implementation of the UHC Law.
An estimated P4.2 billion is expected to be received by the Province for the upgrading of its hospitals and medical infrastructures, among others, for the UHC implementation. (RTF)