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NBI forms team to probe PhilHealth mess

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The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on August 13, 2020, named the members of the newly formed task force that would investigate anomalies hounding the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

In a statement, NBI Officer in Charge Eric Distor said the investigation of the task force would include the audit of PhilHealth’s finances and the conduct of lifestyle checks on its officials and employees.

It will be composed of agents and investigators from the bureau’s Anti-Graft Division, Anti-Fraud Division, Special Action Unit, Computer Crimes Division, Special Operations Group, and Digital Forensic Laboratory.

“The task force shall be headed by NBI-NCR (National Capital Region) Regional Director Cesar Bacani and shall be under the supervision of Deputy Director for Regional Operations Service Antonio Pagatpat, to be assisted by Deputy Director for Investigation Service Vicente de Guzman III,” Distor added.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said a meeting with other officers has been scheduled on Friday to outline the agency’s next move in looking into the anomalies in the state health insurance firm.

In 2019, the NBI conducted an investigation on PhilHealth regarding ghost dialysis reimbursements involving the WellMed Dialysis and Laboratory Center Corp.

The investigation showed that WellMed was charging PhilHealth for the dialysis claims of patient-members who were already dead.

As a result of its investigation, the NBI recommended the prosecution of WellMed officials and PhilHealth officials who conspired in using falsified documents to collect payments from PhilHealth.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) found merits with the recommendation of the NBI and indicted WellMed.

PhilHealth officials who were involved in the scheme are under preliminary investigation by the DOJ. (Benjamin Pulta, PNA)

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