Raps filed vs. WellMed owners over ghost dialysis scam

By , on June 12, 2019

FILE: GHOST DIALYSIS CLAIMS SCAM. NBI agents escort WellMed Dialysis Center co-owner Brian Sy at the Department of Justice for an inquest hearing into his liability in the multi-billion peso ‘ghost dialysis’ payments due to PhilHealth members on Tuesday (June 11, 2019). (PNA photo by Benjamin Pulta)

MANILA — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday filed charges of swindling and falsification against physician Bryan Sy, the co-owner of WellMed Dialysis and Laboratory Center, who was accused of receiving payments for fraudulent dialysis claims paid by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

The NBI filed charges of estafa under Article 315, of Revised Penal Code and falsification of documents under Article 172 in relation to Art. 171 of the Revised Penal Code against Sy, who was arrested on Monday.

Two former employees of Wellmed accused Sy of filing benefit claims with PhilHealth on behalf of dead patients.

The NBI complaint also named other WellMed executives as respondents – Dr. John Ray Gonzales, medical director; Claro Sy, chairman; Alvin Sy, corporate treasurer; Therese Francesca Tan, purchasing officer; Dick Ong, administration officer; and physicians Dr. Porshia Natividad and Joemie Soriano.

Likewise charged were whistleblowers Edwin Roberto and Liezel Aileen de Leon.

Roberto, who used to be the assistant manager of Wellmed, claimed in his sworn statement that it was Sy himself who ordered him on March 30, 2016 to try to charge PhilHealth with claims of two dead patients amounting to PHP2,600.

It was allegedly de Leon whom he instructed to prepare the forms.

Prior to his resignation in March 2018, Roberto revealed that the state-run social health insurance firm paid WellMed a total of PHP600,600 consisting of 200 sessions for dead patients.

There was also an unpaid claim of PHP208,000 for 80 sessions, which he said was eventually paid.

Roberto said PhilHealth settled a total of 27 claims amounting to PHP808,600.

The NBI filed the complaint after Sy’s wife, Therese Francesca Tan-Sy, who was also named respondent in the complaint, filed a petition for issuance of a writ of habeas corpus before the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 20 questioning her husband’s arrest and asking for his immediate release.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the writ of habeas corpus petition and inquest proceedings will determine whether there is basis to hold Sy without a warrant.