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PhilHealth Link of PhilHealth Regional Office 8 Wins Galing-Likha Kalusugan Award September 19, 2012

PhilHealth Regional Office VIII scored another victory when its PhilHealthLINK program bagged the 2nd Galing-Likha Kalusugan Awards, as one of the top three outstanding health innovations in the country.

The said award is a joint initiative of the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) and the Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI) to recognize ground-breaking projects that help solve problems plaguing the country's health system. The awarding ceremony, conducted last September 4, 2012 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati City was attended by PIDS President Dr. Josef T. Yap, DOH Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa, PhilHealth President and CEO Dr. Eduardo Banzon, Ms. Margarita Songco of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Dr. Elmer Soriano of Ayala Foundation-ACCESS Philippines Partnership, and Ms. Cosette Canilao of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center.

For this year's search of the Galing-Likha Kalusugan Award winners, 80 health innovations from both public and private sectors were evaluated. Out of the original 80, ten were short-listed and from the ten, the top three best health innovations were selected. “We are happy just to be included in the top ten, but, to be among the top three best health innovations in the country is indeed an honor,”

Walter Bacareza, Regional Vice President of PhilHealth Regional Office 8 said. "Kudos to the innovative spirit of PhilHealth 8 employees and the very supportive governors who provided the manpower complement for the call center and the coordinators in the hospitals," Bacareza added.

The PhilHealthLINK project launched in mid-2010, is a collaboration of PhilHealth Regional Office 8 and the provincial governments of Eastern Visayas. It is a call center where PhilHealth members availing of health care services in government hospitals as well as patients who are not even aware if they have PhilHealth coverage can be verified to facilitate availment of PhilHealth benefits.

A PhilHealthLINK coordinator in the hospital gets the basic information from the patient and places a call to a call center agent who is PhilHealth-based. The agent checks if the patient can avail of PhilHealth benefits either as a member or as a dependent. Once found to be eligible, the patient will no longer submit a Member Data Record (MDR) - a primary document required in availing of PhilHealth benefits. A resolution slip is attached to the claim in lieu of the MDR thus facilitating easy availment of benefits by members and their dependents.

As cited in the award, PhilHealthLINK is an "important key not only in patient's availment of hospital services but also in unlocking the financial flow of reimbursements to cash-starved public health facilities, thereby improving overall health system sustainability."

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