VIDEO: $22M in Medicaid Shortage Could Impact Operations at Hospital

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Guam – There could be a shortage of up to $22 million in Medicaid funding by the end of this fiscal year.

Department of Public Health Director of Public Welfare Tess Archangel says that based on a 57 percent match from the federal government, Medicaid funding could fall short for the remainder of the fiscal year.

However, she notes that the number could change because it also depends on claims processing. At this point, she says, there are only two Medicaid claims processors at Public Health, which could cause delays in reimbursement.

Meanwhile, the Guam Memorial Hospital could bear the brunt of that shortfall as a significant amount of its patients are Medicaid recipients, according to Administrator Joe Verga.

“Medicaid patients are one of our largest users of our services and if there is a Medicaid shortfall it’ll affect the hospital’s cash flow. And it happened last year, now we don’t have to worry about the garnishment that compounded the issue as last year, but if there is a Medicaid shortage and we are not paid for those services then of course it will affect operations,” explains Verga.

Verga says that about one-third of the hospital’s patients are Medicaid recipients. Combined with MIP and Medicare, Verga notes that it makes up about 60 percent of all patients seen at GMH.