GMH Debt Now $21M; Misses Another Retirement Fund Payment

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Retirement Fund Director says GMH was supposed to make a payment of $467,000 today for the pay period ending November 14.

Guam – The Guam Memorial Hospital’s debt has increased over the last few days by nearly $2 million going from $19.5 million last Friday to now $21 million. In addition, the hospital also missed another retirement fund payment of $467,000 that was due today.

 

Last Friday, Vice Speaker BJ Cruz finally received documents from Guam Memorial Hospital CEO Ted Lewis that he had requested through the Freedom of Information Act. The documents were of all of the hospital’s vendor payables and the amounts owed.

At the time, the listing showed that GMH owed a million dollars in utilities, $1.2 million to federal contractor Perry Point, $4.1 million to the Treasurer of Guam, $1 million to JC Marketing and over $1 million to the Government of Guam Retirement Fund, among other outstanding debts.

 

“Two years ago–and I wasn’t with the hospital then–I think there was a large loan taken out to reduce the payables significantly at that time which I believe was in the first quarter of 2014. Prior to then the payables on a regular basis weren’t able to be managed adequately every month. So it builds up. Since we got that loan in the last couple of years, the payables have built up over time. Again, the reasons are that the hospital is not getting enough reimbursement for what it takes to take care of all the patients. So that’s the fundamental issue,” 

We asked Lewis if GMH has been able to pay down its balance with the retirement fund.

“We have in recent weeks and months, there’s been several occasions when we’ve gotten behind on our payments and–but it changes every week. We make some payments and the balance changes and then more comes due. I can’t really give you the current exact status,” Lewis told PNC.

We also asked Lewis whether the hospital has received its allotments for the months of October, November and December. 

 

“We have many things that are done on a one time basis, specific projects … and funds come from some of the tax revenues that are generated in certain areas that come to us. And then our regular subsidy allotment category that comes through DOA, also. So many things come through there and I know that there are funds coming in all the time, different time periods. So what’s come in in the last couple months I’m not familiar with precisely,” he said.

During a roundtable discussion on the proposed hybrid retirement plan on Monday, Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks noted that GMH has not paid its income tax withholding of $6 million.