Unfair competition?
JAYWALKER - Art Borjal () - May 21, 2002 - 12:00am
Managed health care, better known as HMO (health maintenance organization), has come a long way since the first HMO companies were organized in the early 80s. After a slow start, as industry observers note, HMOs grew rapidly in the 90s and today, having HMO coverage is considered a basic need by an increasing number of Filipino families.
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The HMO industry’s fast growth came about as more and more of our people recognized the importance of being prepared in advance to meet health and medical contingencies. Being a more enlightened sector of the population, public school teachers were among the very first to avail themselves and their loved ones of HMO coverage.
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Through the years, the public school teachers developed close relations with one particular HMO firm, FortuneCare, an industry pioneer and leader. The teachers have apparently found FortuneCare’s service and product fully satisfying in terms of efficiency and reliability and they have been getting their health care coverage from the company, a member of the Fortune Insurance Group. Today, the public school teachers’ account is one of FortuneCare’s big accounts.
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Much to the dismay of both FortuneCare and the teachers, there has been a come-lately HMO that is now misleading teachers by presenting an HMO product that is similar to FortuneCare’s. This calls itself my Fortune.
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As it turned out, myFortune has also been offering personal accident insurance coverage to the public school teachers, similar to a product offered by FortuneCare with its sister company Fortune Life Insurance Company. Yet, myFortune’s articles of incorporation do not authorize it to act as an insurance agent, more so as an insurance company.
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myFortune is supposed to be run by health care professionals. Yet they are resorting to low-down practices that one cannot expect of ethical minded professionals and businessmen. Business must be so poor that this new HMO is forgetting its business ethics.
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It is not hard to conclude that myFortune was set up precisely to deceive FortuneCare’s loyal cardholders, the public school teachers. But it does not only victimize its competitor, FortuneCare, by such dirty tactics, it has also made the teachers confused, puzzled why there should be two HMO products with the name Fortune. Pity the teachers, who are already suffering low pay.
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FortuneCare and the FortuneInsurance Group have warned the public in a notice published in several newspapers that they are not in any way associated with myFortune.
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They have also asked the Department of Trade and Industry and the Securities and Exchange Commission to take appropriate action against myFortune. Hopefully, the public is adequately forewarned and the authorities will take immediate steps to correct this deplorable situation.
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A lady named Chifai wrote about the national and city roads within Makati City’s financial district, saying it is a shame to pass through Makati’s premier thoroughfares, especially Paseo de Roxas avenue, Ayala Avenue and Buendia (Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue) from South SuperHighway up to EDSA. "Everyone will notice the uncomfortable humpy-bumpy ride caused by many excavations," she said.
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She noticed that when the road workers restore the pavement, there is always an inch of difference between the original pavement and the patch-up that causes this humpy-bumpy ride. Makati CBD road networks should be world class in the first place. She hopes that one day, we could duplicate the smooth road networks in Singapore’s Orchard Road and even in HK’s CBD. And she hopes Mayor Jejomar Binay and DPWH can make a new smooth cement pavement at least in Ayala Avenue, Buendia and Paseo/Makati Avenue.
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Violeta Narvas Santos of Marina Bayhomes, Quezon City, wrote about the Hospital of the Poor at the Coastal Road, Parañaque. It was set up due not to a small measure to the tireless efforts of our idol, Fr. James Reuter, S.J., Sr. Eva, the AY Foundation, and the nameless others concerned about the medical needs of the destitute.
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Ms. Santos, who is going to be a volunteer in the hospital, cited a problem that usually comes at the early stage of its establishment. There is difficulty in having the donated beds, medical equipment, supplies, etc. released from the Customs Bureau. She suggested that the customs bureau should formulate some policy for facilitating the release of donations to charity. The practice may have been abused in the past, but it is no excuse to set up barriers to release goods meant for the poor.
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"It is no joke soliciting aid from abroad and when donations from generous souls are finally sent, the least that can be done is to facilitate their release to the beneficiaries. After all, it is the avowed policy of the Macapagal Arroyo administration to champion the cause of the poor and destitute, and make life easier for them. To go one step further, perhaps it would be a poor-friendly idea to waive the duties and taxes imposed by the customs bureau since the charitable institution can ill-afford them.
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Corabel Y. Diel, writing from 53-17 96th St., Corona, NY, USA, sent this e-mail from New York, regarding Fr. James B. Reuter, S.J. Apparently, she is an ardent admirer of the Jesuit priest, having received a lot of help and encouragement from him, "during the lowest ebb of my life."
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Corabel requested me to lead a campaign for the Philippine government to confer on him an "Award of Appreciation" from the Filipino people. Perhaps, the lady does not know that years ago, Fr. Reuter already got an award from Congress making him an "Honorary Filipino." Fr. Reuter is one American the US should be proud of, the epitome of "The Good American" that the US should be proud of, said Corabel.
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Thoughts For Today:

Never be tired of doing little things for others.
Sometimes, those little things are the big things
Which are treasured and kept in their hearts.
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Life ends when you stop dreaming.
Hope is lost when you stop believing.
And love fails when you stop caring.
Jesus cares and He never fails.
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My e-mail address: jaywalker@pacific.net.ph and artborjal@yahoo.com

AWARD OF APPRECIATION BORDER CELLPADDING CENTER FORTUNECARE HMO REUTER TEACHERS WIDTH
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