CMS pays GMH a visit for unannounced survey

There are only 3 COVID-related hospitalizations at GMH. (PNC file photo).

Guam – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is on Guam conducting an unannounced, although much-anticipated survey of the Guam Memorial Hospital, putting lawmakers on edge as its worst fears could play out in the next few weeks.

CMS is the certifying arm that reimburses GMH in funding for its Medicare and Medicaid patients.

In January, GMH was put on notice by the Joint Commission, threatening to remove its accreditation status. And while Joint Commission accreditation is a highly sought after status, it’s the CMS certification that ensures GMH is funded for its patients under Medicare and Medicaid.

Along with MIP, Medicare and Medicaid patients make up a significant portion of GMH’s patient mix and losing CMS certification could cripple GMH’s operations.

During a roundtable meeting in February, senators pressured GMH to provide them with a list of priorities for areas that need immediate attention in light of the Joint Commission accreditation scare. At the time, the Legislature was anticipating a CMS visit and wanted to correct as many deficiencies as possible since CMS standards, in some areas, are similar to Joint Commission standards, if not more stringent.

According to GMH, the CMS surveyors are expected to “review GMH’s compliance with the conditions of participation of a provider of reimbursable hospital services.”