Perpetual Succour Hospital denies involvement in PhilHealth scam

·2 min read

THE Cebu City-based Perpetual Succour Hospital (PSH) denied on Friday, October 30, 2020, the allegation of fraudulent activities involving Covid-19 PhilHealth benefit claims.

In an official statement sent to SunStar Cebu, the PSH said it is "strongly confident" that the PhilHealth claim for a patient whom the authorities called as Patient X, one of the cases being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Central Visayas, is above board, as it was "based on the medical diagnosis of competent and respected medical professionals."

"The claim was supported by medical records submitted to PhilHealth and passed scrutiny and applicable criteria set by PhilHealth," the statement said.

NBI filed on Thursday, October 29, several complaints against eight officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) in Central Visayas and four officials and employees of PSH in Cebu City over alleged involvement in Covid-19 benefit claims anomalies.

PSH said once the complaint is served and received by the concerned FMS personnel of PSH, a detailed factual and legal counter-statement will be issued and filed with the Office of the Ombudsman proving their innocence and total absent of fraud or malice in the preparation and submission of the PhilHealth claim for Patient X.

It added that the NBI found no reason or basis to indict the medical professionals who made the diagnosis.

"How can the FMS personnel who faithfully filed the claims based on the diagnosis and medical records be held responsible for fraud?" lawyer Jose Ray Bael, PSH legal counsel, asked.

The hospital also said that it is "unfortunate" that the NBI intended a public announcement of the filing of the cases against four PSH officers and personnel for alleged fraudulent PhilHealth claims before they are furnished a copy of the alleged complaint and allowed to answer the accusations.

"The public announcement through traditional and social media has shocked the PSH community," he said.

Corruption charges were filed with the Office of the Visayas Ombudsman against Arlan Granali (acting regional vice president), Dr. Francis Javier (HCDMD division chief), Dr. Joan Ayuson (Benefits Administration Section chief), Josette Bacalso (Fiscal Controller), Dr. Reginal Mangubat (Benefits Administration officer), Anecito Ramas Jr. (Social Insurance Officer), Anthonneette Maamo (Benefits Administration clerk), and Kenneth Donalvo (Social Insurance Assistant).

The PSH respondents are Sister Brenda Mondares (financial management manager), Gladys Sarmiento (assistant department manager), and billing officers Jaye Anne Arañas and Gina Misagal.

The charges include violations of Republic Act 3019, or Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials, and malversation of public funds.

Administrative cases were also filed against those involved, including violation of the Revised Administrative Code for Dishonesty, Neglect of Duty and Misconduct, incompetence in the performance and inefficiency in official duties, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. (WBS)