HMO provider says advisory on hospital capacity just a ‘guide’ for members

November 16, 2021 - 12:04 PM
A health worker walks behind a sign outside San Juan de Dios Hospital indicating that its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) facility is at full capacity, in Pasay, Philippines, April 9, 2021. (Reuters/Lisa Marie David)

A private health insurance company said that it is sending notice on hospital capacities to direct its members to alternative medical facilities.

Maxicare Healthcare Corporation issued this statement following the Department of Health‘s latest reminder on health maintenance (HMO) companies.

The health department previously advised HMOs that they are not authorized to declare hospitals being on “full capacity.”

It, however, did not mention any name of the HMO provider it is referring to.

Some social media users were the ones who voiced out that Maxicare had been sending out these medical advisories to its members via emails.

READ: DOH reminds: HMO providers not authorized to declare hospitals in ‘full capacity’

In response to this, the private corporation pointed out the purpose for sending out emails to its members twice a week since the pandemic started.

“Since the start of the pandemic last year, Maxicare has been releasing medical advisories regarding Maxicare-affiliated hospitals and their latest capacity. Entitled ‘Hospitals on Full Capacity’, this twice-a-week advisory is a service we provide to all of our members in order to guide them on where they can be safely accommodated,” Maxicare said.

“In addition to the information on hospital capacity, we also include alternatives so our members can easily be directed to alternative medical facilities within the vicinity,” it added.

The company also assured its members that the information it sends had been provided and verified by HMO partner or affiliated hospitals.

“Our affiliated hospitals have permitted us to share their inputs for the benefit of our members to spare them from the inconvenience of going to a hospital, only to be turned away,” it said.

Moreover, Maxicare also expressed its support for DOH’s pandemic response efforts.

“We fully support the DOH and its efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines. We believe that unified goals as well as transparency will help in addressing and, eventually, solving this national emergency,” the provider said.

In DOH’s tracker, as of November 15, the bed occupancy is at 26.4% or 38,043 in total.

The department also recorded 1,547 additional infections, which brought the total to 2,818,511.

There were also 2,601 new recovered patients and 128 additional COVID-19 deaths.