A Follow-Up On Charging PhilHealth Benefits

Our son who had surgical removal of his gallbladder (cholecystectomy) two weeks ago had a follow-up consultation the other day with his surgeon on the same hospital where he had the operation. While waiting for his doctor, I took the chance to visit the PhilHealth office in the hospital to ask again if it is indeed the policy of PhilHealth to have its share of the professional fees charged on top of what the doctors declare on the patient’s payable to the hospital. The PhilHealth representatives were honest enough to tell me that not all hospitals have such arrangement with their doctors.

I inquired further if they do not get complaints from members regarding their hospital’s practice of the “NET of PhilHealth” charging of doctors’ professional fees. Again, they honestly told me that almost all patients availing of the PhilHealth benefit complain against the detestable practice. They added that they plan to bring up the issue in the next meeting they will have with the hospital administration. I told them that I will help clarify the matter by inquiring about the practice with PhilHealth management.

I have detailed the trouble we had when I erroneously considered that the doctor’s share of our son’s PhilHealth benefit to be deductible from our bill in a previous blog. Instead of having some spare on the money we were able to raise to pay the bills, I was really surprised when the hospital’s computation showed I was short of cash so our son had to stay another day while we source more money for his bills. I could imagine many patients to be in similar situation just because of the ‘Net of PhilHealth’ rule being imposed by that hospital.

With my promise to bring up the matter to the attention of PhilHealth management, I wish to seek your feedback, if you had the experience, on how other hospitals treat the doctor’s share of a patient’s PhilHealth benefit. Do they charge it on top of the professional fees that the doctors charge your patient or they deduct the amount from you bills? I will, by myself, inquire about the charging of PhilHealth benefit before I inquire from PhilHealth management about this issue.

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