GMH CEO Ted Lewis says the GMH Advisory Council as not made any attempts to meet with him.
Guam – Guam Memorial Hospital CEO Ted Lewis says the hospital’s situation has not improved within the last month. Their outstanding debt on all their vendor payables has now reached $23 million.
Last month a bitter email exchange between Lewis and the governor’s Chief Fiscal Advisor Bernie Artero immediately preceded the sudden resignation of three top GMH Board members, which then led to Governor Eddie Calvo issuing an executive order to take over the hospital board and to empanel a GMH Advisory team.
That advisory team includes Artero and their job is to look over the hospital’s finances. We asked Lewis if he’s heard back from Artero or any Adelup officials since he responded to Artero’s scathing email on December 9.
“I don’t recall. In other words I don’t believe so,” Lewis told us.
In the email, Lewis wrote that the hospital has reached a point where “our ability to provide safe, effective care to our patients is in jeopardy due to the unmanageable level of our trade payables.”
We then asked Lewis if he believes that continues to be the situation GMH is in now.
“I think the context of this is that for a number of years the hospital has not been able to generate enough revenue from the services that it bills through commercial insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, that type of thing. The monies that are received from those billings don’t cover the cost of care,” he said.
The GMH Advisory Council, since its inception three weeks ago, has met with GMH management officials, including CFO Benita Manglona and some technical staff, however, no one from the advisory team has met with Lewis.
In fact, through various meetings, the advisory team identified three major weaknesses and forwarded these findings to Governor Calvo with recommendations. But none of those findings were shared with Lewis. He says he only learned about it through the media.
PNC: “You had to read about it in the media. Why weren’t you informed directly, you’re the CEO of this hospital?”
“Well I’m not … involved in the management of the task force. It’s a new thing. It’s an interim step that’s been put in place to help this temporary period of time. So I’m not–I don’t have–privy to know that the answer to that, really,” he said.
PNC: “Do you agree with their findings?:
“I think what I read was certainly of things that we’ve known are at issue here,” he noted.
While Lewis says he’s spoken with Wil Castro, one of the members of the advisory team, over the phone, he says at this point in time the GMH advisory council has not made any attempts to meet with him.