PhilHealth, partner agencies rally for rationalized access to medical funds

QUEZON CITY, July 11 — The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) together with the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social and Welfare Development (DSWD), and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) recently formalized a joint undertaking for the benefit of patients admitted in non-private or service accommodation hospitals accredited by PhilHealth.

Dubbed “Malasakit Program,” the partnership, which is enshrined in a joint administrative order signed by said agencies, aims to augment the financial provision of the No Balance Billing (NBB) policy for case rates and Z benefits.

Under the agreement, all classified indigent patients in non-private or service accommodations in all PhilHealth-accredited government hospitals shall be entitled to the NBB, while all direct medical expenses shall be augmented by PCSO and DOH MAIP (Medical Assistance for Indigent Program). On the other hand, all non-direct medical expenses such as transportation costs shall be covered by DSWD.

Likewise, all PhilHealth-accredited government hospitals shall establish a “Malasakit Center,” in which the various funding sources of PCSO and DOH MAIP will be housed in one area to streamline the availment of funding assistance of patients admitted in service accommodations. They shall also make available clear information, education and communication materials to inform patients of the harmonized medical assistance program and streamlined process of availment. 

Malasakit, which means “compassion,” was conceived in response to President Duterte’s earnest desire to help the poor who are in need of medical attention. It aims to help facilitate and streamline medical financial assistance and government processes to those who need them most. 

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PhilHealth Acting President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Roy B. Ferrer emphasized that nobody should be left behind as health reforms move forward, and that health care services can be made accessible to the most vulnerable sector of society through social health insurance. He also said that “with the creation of the Malasakit Program, patients shall no longer need to file separate applications to obtain support from PCSO and DOH. This program makes it convenient for them to avail of primary help for applicable treatment.” 

Malasakit Program beneficiaries to be enlisted shall be entitled to 100 percent of prevailing case rates of PhilHealth, while for ‘Z’ benefit package, support will be provided on services that are excluded in the package.

Ferrer further added that “for government programs as essential as social health insurance, there is probably nothing more newsworthy than new developments in the benefits that can be availed of by our members. Hence, we continue to pursue initiatives that catalyze the achievement of Universal Health Care to ensure that everyone is given the financial access to quality and affordable health care. ” (PhilHealth)

Source: PIA Feed