High-level CMS delegation wraps up GMH visit

The island's public hospital had previously been at risk of losing its CMS certification. (PNC file photo)
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A high-level delegation from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wrapped up their weeklong survey of conditions at Guam Memorial Hospital Friday afternoon.

The five-member CMS team is led by Rufus Arthur who is the San Francisco branch manager for the San Francisco CMS Division of Survey & Certification.

GMH Administrator Lillian Perez Posadas said the CMS team arrived Monday, unannounced as always, and throughout the week they’ve been doing what she called a “deep dive” looking at documents and interviewing staff and management.

Perez-Posadas said it was a re-visit to follow up on the corrective action plan she and her staff submitted to the federal agency last year.

“It’s a follow-up on what has been brought to our attention and the plan of corrective action that we were going to put into effect,” she said.

The island’s public hospital has been at risk of losing its CMS certification which would jeopardize the millions of dollars that GMH depends on to maintain services.

The public hospital still has not satisfied all the issues raised by CMS last year including the need for a new electronic records management system, the funding for which has yet to be identified

“The Medicare surveyors, what they asked for was our strategic plan … what’s our 3 to 5-year improvement and strategic plan and we mentioned the assessment that was conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers and we provided them with a copy of the preliminary report,” Perez-Posadas said.

The Army Corps conducted a survey of the structural integrity of GMH in November at the request of the governor who is weighing whether to repair the hospital or build a new one.

Perez-Posadas said she is expecting the Army Corps’ final report on the costs of repairs this month. In November, Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio told reporters that the Corps’ preliminary estimate for repairing the facility is over $200 million.