PhilHealth briefing highlights benefit rate increase

In its 2nd Press Briefing at Hotel H2O in Manila, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) recently focused on the increase in the rate of Z Benefit Package for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) in children. PhilHealth is increasing the package rate to ensure that the mandatory services covering the entire treatment phases for three (3) years are provided to the patient. Acting President and CEO Ramon F. Aristoza Jr., said that "The intervention of PhilHealth is very vital in the campaign of the government to at least respond by providing financial risk protection to those families who have children with acute lymphocytic leukemia." He also welcomed friends in media and encouraged everyone to actively participate in the open forum, and assured them that all their questions, whether negative or positive will be properly addressed. Thirty (30) media partners from TV, radio, print and online media graced the press briefing. Represented were media firms ABS-CBN, TV 5, PTV 4, DZRH, RMN, DWWW, DWIZ, DZAR, DWBL, Philippine Star, Manila Times, Manila Bulletin, Malaya Business Insight, Business Mirror, Health & Fitness, Philippines Graphic, Health & Lifestyle, Chinese Commercial News, Bulgar, Pilipino Star Ngayon, Pilipino Mirror, Abante, Remate, Dyaryong Pinoy, Saksi, Harborscope, Market Monitor and Philippine News Agency. Dr. Melanie C. Santillan, OIC-Senior Manager for Benefits Development and Research Department of PhilHealth, presented the increased Z benefit package for ALL. She recalled that in 2012, PhilHealth launched the Z benefit for ALL with a package rate of P210, 000. She emphasized that it is being increased to provide financial risk protection against a highly curable cancer and that the goal is for the survivors of this childhood leukemia to go back to society as productive citizens. She said that the adjusted rates for the three-year treatment of standard risk ALL in children who are enrolled in retained hospitals of the Department of Health (DoH) that are contracted to provide the services for the Z benefits is at P380, 000.00, up from P210, 000.00. Chemotherapeutic drugs will also be supplied by the DOH. On the other hand, the adjusted rate for other contracted health care institutions, is at P500, 000.00 and entails individual procurement of chemotherapy drugs. Santillan is positive that Filipino children with ALL will now have survival status of at least 80%. "We believe that the PhilHealth benefit for ALL is a rational health intervention to improve patient outcomes while achieving our mandate of financial risk protection for a catastrophic condition that is highly curable." The presentation was immediately followed by an open forum where members of the press actively participated in the discussion. Questions raised by the media touched on ALL's three (3) year treatment plan, maintenance phase, coverage of the P500, 000 package, and its date of implementation. Other questions pertained to PhilHealth's major accomplishments, package for drug rehabilitation, national ID system, among others. The Press Briefing is a semestral forum where members of the press have the opportunity to be updated on the new developments and new policies of the corporation and to seek answers to all issues and concerns about PhilHealth's programs and services.

Source: Philippine Information Agency