PhilHealth coverage of stem cell treatment a possibility
by FFE PH News staff
The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) says that stem cell procedures may be viable for inclusion among its coverage. PhilHealth said that if the treatment becomes certified as standard care, then evaluation for inclusion will be underway.
According to Republic Act 10606, or the National Health Insurance Program of 2013, PhilHealth cannot cover procedures that are considered “cost-ineffective by health technology assessment… in keeping with its protection objectives and financial sustainability.”
However, all breakthroughs will undergo assessment “if they can be developed into a benefit package,” says the agency. Health technology assessment reviews procedures, products and devices of their quality, safety and relative cost-effectiveness which affects decisions on policy, investment and health benefit coverage.
DOH Sec. Enrique Ona
Health Secretary Enrique Ona hopes that the cost of stem cell treatment will go down once they become a standard care. With the aid of PhilHealth, ordinary people will benefit from the treatment, he says, which costs as much as Php4 million.
PhilHealth provides primary care and curative care benefits through hospitalization. They also provide benefit packages for maternity care, newborn care, animal bite, HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and others.