A few months ago, while assisting with an inpatient claim from Northern Luzon, which included a claim for one unit of blood from the local Red Cross chapter, the claim for the blood was denied. When this was questioned it was learned that certification was denied because the office was not a licensed physician. Since a Red Cross chapter would never be licensed as a physician but for their blood program we suggested the denial be relooked.
That was five months ago and the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) or any of its chapters are still not listed on the Certified list. The patient’s family checked with the local chapter and discovered that the PNRC had refused to submit to outside scrutiny; apparently feeling that meeting all Philippine and international requirements was sufficient. Or maybe they, like a growing number of Philippine providers, no longer want to be associated with International SOS (ISOS) and the Defense Health Agency (DHA) who they see as corrupt and dishonest.
Apparently, since the headquarters wanted nothing to do with ISOS and DHA, the local chapters are following suit.
What does this mean to TRICARE beneficiaries? An already limited blood supply is now even more limited and those in need of blood will find they are required to pay for their own blood, even in the Demo areas. We are aware of no certified sources of blood so even purchasing them from someone else is likely to still require absorbing the cost by the beneficiary. For all practical purposes blood and blood products are no longer an authorized benefit under either version of Philippine TRICARE.
Thanks to these two organization’s current and past actions, we continue to see more reductions to access to care in the Philippines. It won’t be long before that access, currently around 13% of what it should be, is reduced to less than 10% of what all other beneficiaries around the world can expect.
Never forget the Defense Health Agency and International SOS always have your back when it comes to high quality and easy access to care; just ask them!