Mr. Carlos D. Da Silva

Shining the spotlight on health

For many years, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) have been perceived less as a need but more as a backup plan in case of a medical emergency. COVID-19 has changed all that.  

The global pandemic has shone the spotlight on HMOs as an integral part of the country’s health delivery systems. 

As “arrangers” and “financiers” of health care services between clients, hospitals and physicians, HMOs are able to manage health care costs without shifting the burden to people, said Carlos D. Da Silva, executive director of the Association of Health Maintenance Organizations of the Philippines Inc. (AHMOPI).  

Thanks to AHMOPI and Mr. Da Silva, there are now an estimated seven million HMO plan holders, with most affiliated hospitals acknowledging that about 50% to 60% percent of their corporate portfolios are HMO business. AHMOPI’s industry-leader members are affiliated with over 1,700 institutional health care providers nationwide with over 45,000 accredited medical specialists.  

Mr. Da Silva has been at the forefront of the HMO industry for more than three decades now. He spent 38 years at The Insular Life Assurance Company Ltd. and was seconded to one of its wholly owned subsidiaries, Insular Life Health Care, Inc., as president and chief operating officer.  

When AHMOPI was established in 1987 and became the first recognized trade organization of HMOs in the country, Mr. Da Silva served as its first executive director. It was a natural career progression, having served as president of AHMOPI for six straight years.  

When regulation over the HMO industry was transferred from the Department of Health to the Insurance Commission (IC), AHMOPI was mandated to handle all HMO-related complaints in the country, including those against non-AHMOPI members. Despite the gargantuan task, AHMOPI was able to take on the challenge, with Mr. Da Silva successfully negotiating almost all cases referred by the IC to the association.  

AHMOPI have also taken steps to ensure that all IC issuances to HMOs related to COVID-19 are fully implemented with dispatch even as this entailed setting up a 24/7 hotline or providing temporary accommodations for HMO employees under strict quarantine parameters or working from home to attend to their members’ needs via digital platforms. AHMOPI members have also accelerated the trend towards telemedicine as an alternative to face-to-face consultations. 

With Mr. Da Silva as the face and voice of the association, AHMOPI actively participated in public discussions and congressional hearings on various health-related legislations, including the Philippine HIV-AIDS Policy Act, the Comprehensive Tuberculosis Elimination Plan Act, the Universal Health Care Act, and Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.  

For his role in championing the cause of HMOs and bringing their services closer to millions of Filipinos, Mr. Da Silva has been named as this year’s “Association Executive of the Year” at the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives’ (PCAAE) ANG SUSI Awards, the first and only search for the best associations and association executives in the Philippines which recognizes the association sector’s contributions to national sustainable development.  

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