TACLOBAN CITY – Hemodialysis remains the top procedure the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has been paying for this year due to the steady rise of chronic kidney failure cases.

Rosario Suyom, PhilHealth-Eastern Visayas healthcare delivery management division chief, said that during the first six months of the year, their office already paid PHP191.04 million for 54,584 hemodialysis sessions.

“It is estimated that about 50,000 patients in the region availed of the expanded package for patients with chronic kidney disease. It continues to remain the number 1 procedure that PhilHealth has been paying for in the region since the creation of all case rates in 2012,” Suyom told reporters during a press briefing here.

The official has no data showing the claims from hemodialysis patients in 2022, but she said the upward trend is consistent.

“It tops the list. That is the health status that we have in the country based on our data. We share this information with the Department of Health as part of the government’s effort to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney diseases,” Suyom added.

Recently, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation has expanded its package for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 5 to 156 sessions from 90 sessions annually.
Under PhilHealth Circular 2023-009, the agency would be paying P2,600 every session or P405,600 per year for CKD stage 5 patients.

To avail of the package, patients must be recommended by a licensed doctor to have hemodialysis and must be listed in the PhilHealth dialysis database.
The number of sessions availed by the patient will be monitored by the facility administering the hemodialysis.

Hemodialysis is a treatment to filter wastes and water from a person’s blood, the function of a healthy kidney. Hemodialysis helps control blood pressure and balance important minerals, such as potassium, sodium and calcium, in a person’s blood. (PNA)