06 April 2021 – To ensure unhampered health services amid the pandemic, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) is more than willing to help the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) address the backlogs on the release of claims of hospitals.

Director General Jeremiah Belgica made the commitment during ARTA’s appearance at the dialogue between PhilHealth and Philippine Hospital Association (PHA) on the latter’s call for the timely reimbursement of their claims yesterday, 5 April 2021.

“There seems to be a mounting request from the hospitals to reimburse immediately specifically those hospitals, the smaller ones that are really dying to continue their operations for their people,” the ARTA czar said, noting that this has been relayed to him during the recent meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) against COVID-19.

Under ARTA’s enforcement function, Belgica said sanctions will be imposed to those who will delay the processing of such financial claims.

“Makikipagtulungan po kami kay [PhilHealth] President Dante Gierran that anyone who is holding up ng kanilang proseso whether unwittingly or with negligence, hindi po ito tinotolerate ng ating Pangulo,” he said.

For his part, PHA President Dr. Jaime Almora backed up the suggestion of a colleague to automate the filing of benefit claims to resolve the current problem.

However, Belgica, stressing this time the empowerment function of the ARTA, said that the state insurer’s processes must be streamlined first before shifting to full automation. 

“ARTA have offices that help come up with more rational solution and in reengineering systems. One of the things that we encountered with other government agencies is that some would jump to automation without first seeing the most rational and simplified process. But we cannot automate without first removing redundancies and streamlining the process,” the ARTA chief said.

PhilHealth’s President and CEO Atty. Dante Gierran openly welcomed ARTA’s continued support to them to improve their service delivery. 

Previously, ARTA had formed a Special Task Force to monitor PhilHealth’s services in relation to the health insurer’s Citizen’s Charter and their streamlining efforts. ARTA had also asked PhilHealth to explain previous complaints for supposedly violating the Ease of Doing Business law.

“What you have is solution. What you have is help. With that, I am greatly consoled. You have that, DG Atty. Jeremiah Belgica,” Gierran affirmed.

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