Guam – GMH entered its current fiscal crisis shortly before the official announcement of its re-accreditation on July 24th. And unless the current fiscal crisis is resolved, that accreditation could be at risk.
GMH CFO Allan Ulrich – August 28th: “They finally put us to collections. .. in the middle of July. The last payment we received was around the 12th of July. And we normally receive an average of about a million dollars a month from Medicare … all of a sudden, not receiving that money from Medicare put a big hit on cash flow that we normally receive.”
GMH CFO Allan Ulrich telling PNC News last week that the last medicare payment recieved by GMH was on July 12th. That’s when the U.S. Treasury started garnishing roughly a million dollars a month in medicare re-imbursements from the hosptial to pay the $6-million owed to Perry Point. It was the single biggest factor in plunging the hospital into its current crisis.
Yet no mention of that was made when, about 2 weeks later, on July 24th, GMH held a press conference annoucing its re-accreditiation by the Joint Commission.
Joesph Verga – GMH Administrator – July 24th: “We proudly announce to you that GMH has won re-accreditation from the Joint Commission for the next 3 years.”
The current financial crisis at the hospital poses a risk to that hard won accreditiaiton.
“We can’t trick our way into being re-accredited,” said Senator Mike San Nicolas. “If the situation was that dire back then, then we would have been able to respond to it more timely if we had known. But because we are getting these very mixed messages .. accreditation .. then all of a sudden crisis. That’s not the way we should be managing the government.”
Senator San Nicolas and fellow Democrat and Health Committee Chair Senator Dennis Rodriguez put the onus on the Governor for not acting quicker to face the looming crisis.
“The Governor needs to get a handle on communicating with the Legislature these kind of things in advance. Because we go into crisis management mode too often and it causes us to have to react. And when we react, its not very well thought out,” said San Nicolas.
“The legislature will do its part, like we have been doing. However the hospital as well needs to do their part,” said Senator Rodriguez. “They have over $200-million in collections … so they need to go out and aggresively collect. And also the Governmnet agencies that owe the hospital, the Governor needs to .. make payment to the hospital.”
However the Governor, who transferred $1.2 million to GMH Friday so that employees there could get paid, says he has exhausted his transfer authority and he needs lawamkers now to act.
“Right now we’ve run out of spending authority,” said Governor Calvo. “I want to congratulate the Republican Senators, they saw the issue. Unfortunately there was a rushed Session. I was supposed to meet with Senator Pangelinan that day! We’re gonna move forward. I intend in our administration to work with the Senators to solve this issue. We’re gonna solve it very quickly.”
Four republican Senators voted against the now vetoed budget Bill #177 last Thursday night, in part, because of their concerns that the budget did not address the GMH crisis.
“We had an opportunity to address that, at least for next fiscal year in the budget” said Senator Mike Limtiaco, “and we didn’t do that. And that’s why many of our republcian Senators voted no on that … but for right now, since we’re still in the current fiscal year, we do need to rely heavily on the transfer authority of the Governor to see what funds are avialable … to see what can be done.”
“We’re gonna exhaust all avenues,” said Senator Brant McCreadie, “to make sure that the hospital is up and running and stays up and running and keeps its accreditation.”