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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Senator requests forensic audit of insurance companies’ hospital debt

By The Star Staff

New Progressive Party (NPP) Senator Keren Riquelme asked the Puerto Rico Insurance Commissioner’s Office for a forensic audit of the debt owed by health insurers to the Island’s hospitals, both public and private.

Likewise, the senator asked the Association of Hospitals and the College of Health Services Administrators for detailed financial reports on the concept of debts by an insurance company, both those attached to the Vital Plan and the private ones.

“Puerto Rico’s health care system is going through difficult times in the face of many realities, some of which are subject to market forces. An essential part of this structure is the hospital network. We see how some institutions have faced a lack of timely payment by health insurers. We call on the Office of the Insurance Commissioner to immediately initiate a forensic audit of the debt owed by the insurance companies to these institutions,” Riquelme said in a written statement.

In mid-August, the Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration (ASES) reported that the insurance companies that provide services to the Vital Plan, including First Medical, Triple-S Salud, MMM Multi Health and the Mennonite Health Plan, submitted documentation on debt with providers, including hospitals.

Last week, San Jorge Hospital, located in the Santurce area, announced the filing of a petition to file for Chapter 11 Restructuring of the federal Bankruptcy Law.

“The health of our people cannot be affected by debts owed by insurance companies that collect their money but are late in paying the service providers, in this case the hospitals. Of the 70 hospitals in Puerto Rico, we understand that almost half are in a difficult financial situation due to the lack of timely payment. That has to stop,” the senator said.

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