Public hearing on hospital fee increases held

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(PNC file photo)

Guam – The Guam Memorial Hospital held a public hearing today on the proposed 5-percent increase in hospital fees and charges.

A total of 8,629 existing hospital fees were already adjudicated by the legislature.
GMH revealed its new fee schedule, which shows a 5 percent increase adopted by the GMH Board of Trustees.

With the ability to increase rates by 5 percent annually, the increased fee schedule will now head to the legislature for final review and approval.

The increased rates fees and charges for services are related to radiology, pharmacy, operating room and special services.

GMH Chief Financial Officer Benita Manglona seeks to justify the increase implemented by GMH in 2015, saying the hospital has been charging fees well below the cost of the service being provided.

In regards to the audit issued by the Office of Public Accountability, Manglona explained the inability of some patients to settle their bills.

“People that just can’t afford to pay,” she said. “So it wasn’t that we weren’t referring accounts to the collections agency. We had a process.”

While Manglona said additional staff would always help, she also said the hospital will continue to work with what they have and try to improve the process and impress upon the staff the need to be more diligent in their efforts.

One area that may help the GMH financial outlook considerably is the Medicare/Medicaid re-basing which was recently approved.

“This will bring in about conservatively $6 million annually between now and the end of the fiscal year,” Manglona said.

It has been a mixed bag of results since Manglona came on board at GMH in 2015.
As such, she has yet to receive a full extension term under the Leon Guerrero/Tenorio administration. While her fate may still hang in the balance on a month to month status, Manglona remains professional, taking it one day at a time.

“I work on a day to day basis,” she said. “That takes care of anyone.”

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.