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Antioquia Coronavirus Cases as of March 29, 2020 Antioquia Coronavirus Cases as of March 29, 2020 Source: Gobernacion de Antioquia

Health Ministry Accelerates Payments to Hospitals, Clinics; Antioquia Coronavirus Cases Hit 96

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Colombia’s Health Ministry announced March 30 that it’s accelerating national payments totaling COP$2.1 trillion (US$517 million) to hospitals and clinics this year in order to respond to an expected surge of Coronavirus patients.

The accelerated payments total a little less than half of the COP$4.5 trillion (US$1.1 billion) in subsidies budgeted for the entire year of 2020, according to the Ministry.

Meanwhile, as of March 30, the Health Ministry had reported 798 Coronavirus cases nationally, led by Bogota (350) and Cali/Valle del Cauca (104). Antioquia ranks third with 96 cases, of which 60 are reported within the city of Medellin.

Among the Antioquia cases, most involve people that had traveled to Spain, the USA, Jamaica, Turkey, Brazil, Italy, Panama, the UK, Ecuador and Germany, according to the Antioquia Departmental government. The remaining cases involved people who were cross-infected by foreign travelers.

So far, 12 people have died nationally from Coronavirus complications – none in Antioquia -- while 15 patients have fully recovered, according to the Ministry. The vast majority of victims are recuperating at homes rather than in hospitals.

“In order to guarantee financial liquidity in the nation’s hospitals and clinics in the face of the Coronavirus health emergency, the national government made the decision to anticipate the transfer of COP$2.1 trillion (US$517 million) corresponding to budgeted resources for the sector for the entire year, which will be disbursed to the institutions that provide health services [that is, Institutos Prestadores de Servicios de Salud, ‘IPS’] during the month of April and the beginning of May,” according to the Ministry.

Colombia’s Administrator of Resources of the General Social Security System in Health (ADRES) has already ordered advance payment of COP$782 billion (US$192 million) to health provider and insurance networks to help pay for certain other high-cost procedures and drugs that fall outside mandatory covered services in the “EPS” (empresas promotores de salud) insurance network schemes, the Ministry added.

Now, an additional COP$540 billion (US$133 million) will be released to health networks between April and May for mandatory covered services (including Coronavirus cases).

Yet another COP$700 billion (US$172 million) will be paid in May “so that hospitals, clinics and other medical centers can access the hospital portfolio purchase mechanism” in anticipation of future ADRES payments, according to the Ministry.

Read 245 times Last modified on Last modified on March 30 2020

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Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

U.S. native Roberto Peckham, who founded Medellin Herald in 2015, has been residing in metro Medellin since 2005 and has traveled regularly and extensively throughout Colombia since 1981.

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