PhilHealth urges hospitals to seek ‘expanded care’ accreditation

By: Gail T. Momblan

THE Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) urged hospitals in Western Visayas to seek the expanded primary care benefits or ePCB accreditation.

The ePCB covers more target beneficiaries, providers, disease conditions and benefit inclusions, according to Dr. Israel Francis Pargas, acting senior vice president for PhilHealth’s Health Finance Policy Sector.

The Primary Care Benefit (PCB) covers only indigents, sponsored citizens, overseas Filipino workers and teachers of the Department of Education (DepEd) but with Epcb, the formal sector, lifetime members and senior citizens will already be included.

Only the rural health units (RHUs) offer free consultation, diagnostics and medicines in PCB, but with ePCB, the providers were added with Out Patient Departments of Level 1, 2 and 3 of government and private hospitals; infirmaries and medical outpatient clinics.

The ePCB now covers Hypertension and Diabetes Mellitus Type II as additional disease conditions to acute gastroenteritis (AGE); urinary tract infection (UTI); upper respiratory tract infection (URTI); pneumonia; and asthma which were covered by the PCB.

The expanded version will also provide beneficiaries with complete dose of medicines for the covered disease conditions and will provide additional laboratory tests such as the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and electrocardiography (ECG).

At present, only two hospitals in Western Visayas are ePCB-accredited.

These are Qualimed Hospital in Mandurriao, Iloilo City; and Sebaste Community Hospital in Antique province.

Kathleen Sadio, ancillary sales associate manager of Qualimed Hospital, said that they have been accredited since Oct 31, 2018 and their clients can now avail of the benefits.

“We know nga maayo ang objective sang programa. We believe nga ang gin-commit namon sa PhilHealth, ma-deliver namon sa mga clients nga members sini,” she said.

Meanwhile, Jose Christopher Varona, municipal mayor of Sebaste, Antique, said the ePCB will be of great help to patients at Sebaste Community Hospital.

Dako guid nga bulig especially kay expanded na and knowing na ang Sebaste Community Hospital indi under sang provincial government. It is managed by the local government,” he said.

Janimhe Jalbuna, PhilHealth’s regional public affairs unit head encourages hospitals in the Western Visayas to submit letter of intent and also commit to the said benefit.

Pargas said they are currently processing 80 applications nationwide.

He eyes that in all hospitals in the country should already be ePCB-accredited by 2019.

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