Administrator details GMH problems

Guam Memorial Hospital administrator Lillian Perez-Posadas. (PNC file photo)

An oversight hearing on Guam Memorial Hospital got underway about a half hour ago at the Guam Congress Building.

Sen. Therese Terlaje, who chairs the committee on health, called the hearing to get an update on the many problems facing the hospital.

Before the hearing, PNC’s Kevin Kerrigan spoke with GMH administrator Lilian Perez-Posadas who said she plans on providing Sen. Terlaje’s health committee with an update on the hospital’s infrastructure priorities which remain unchanged.

A new electronic health records system is number one. It’s a critical component required to track patients’ care and ensure accurate billing. It’s something the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has insisted on and time is running out

A close second is repairing the hospital’s roof to stop the leaks.

“The roof repair needs to be done because with the rainy season we continue to have leaks. And it affects our elevator. Already, we lost electrical components internally, that’s why our elevators are down. We got two new passenger carriages and so before we put those two new ones, we got to make sure we repair the leakages,” Perez-Posadas said.

The electrical panel is another concern but Perez-Posadas said she is pleased with the assistance the Guam Power Authority has provided to help maintain it, but it still needs to be replaced.

In all these areas money is needed. In its 2020 budget request, the hospital asked for about $30 million for operations and $57 for capital improvement projects.

“The $57 was for CIP to include the three — the EHR, the electrical panel and roofing repair. We didn’t get any of the $57 million,” Perez-Posadas said.

The only prospect for additional funding, says Posadas, is the $10 million that senator Therese Terlaje has proposed providing the hospital from the projected $27 million increase in revenue over what was projected, although the governor has emphasized that projection is not a surplus and her first priority is paying down the GovGuam deficit.