TACLOBAN CITY- After they have stayed and had been treated, indigent patients need to process still their bills before going home, not for their families to pay for it but for the hospital to complete the documents for submission to Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) for reimbursements.
This was how Dr. Salvador “Buddy” Evardone, chief of the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) put it in a brief interview.
Evardone’s statement was in answer to a post that went viral which, according to him, could be a product of misinformation, inadequate to no information at all.
“In adherence to the policy of the Duterte Administration, EVRMC just like other hospitals, have not been charging indigent patients, contrary to the FB post, except of course when one opts to be admitted in a private or semi-private room. When so, hospital will charge and compute billings, but otherwise, hospitalization is free”, Evardone explained.
An example he cited on a Myoma operation of which P26,000 is paid by PhilHealth of the total P56,000 expense.
“If the papers are not complete and receipt is not retained at the Accounting Section, we shall have no document to submit to PhilHealth for payment, and with more reasons that we can hardly collect reimbursements, to help us in the sustenance of hospital operations”, Dr. Evardone said.
Thus, he appeals to non-paying patients to be responsible also and be cooperative and not just step-out immediately of the hospital once treated, all because they are fully aware of the “No Balance Billing” policy of the government.
“Let us help one another, EVRMC is imposing complete documentation because other patients are awaiting equal assistance from government through this “No Balance Billing”. When PHILHEALTH payment is delayed due to incomplete papers, other patients needing assistance, will be sacrificed also”, he pointed out.
Similarly, he appeals that for minor ailments, patients can go to rural health units (RHUs), district and provincial hospitals where drugs and medicines for minor diseases are made available by the Department of Health (DOH).
“A simple diarrhea may not be brought anymore to EVRMC because RHUs can treat it and medicines of the disease are available there”, he added.
The level up care he mentioned when level 1s and 2s could be done in provincial hospitals and RHUs while EVRMC takes charge of diseases that might be needing help of doctor-specialists.
On the “visiting hour” issue, Dr. Evardone seeks understanding on the limited space of the hospital.
“EVRMC has 450-beds but daily admission would not go less than 800. This is how congested our hospital is”, he further cleared out.
With the kind scenario, EVRMC implements the “one patient, one watcher” policy instead of more than two or three. Only one gate pass is issued to a watcher which entitles him to go and fro his patient’s bed, and when 8 pm strikes, all watchers are sent down to the waiting area at the lobby, until morning but “Visiting Hour” resumes at 9 am.
“This is also to protect the watchers from infections and give a peaceful environment of the in-patients who need ample and more time to rest and recover”, Evardone stressed.
This is only temporary, it was learned from Evardone because once the other two buildings are completed construction, more spaces can be provided for more rooms and beds of EVRMC’s patients.
Asked how true that cadavers are subjected to bidding process among operators of funeral parlors in the city, Evardone said it might have happened before but knowing the issue, he immediately met the people concerned and resolved the matter.
To effect immediately, ordered for security guards not to meddle in the affairs of the hospital because as outsourced, they are not part of the operation.
Only the nurses concerned and the doctor charge of the laboratory unit of the hospital are the only authorized persons to contact funeral parlors and never, a security guard, on duty or not. (PIA08-)