VIDEO: Postal Service Address Problems Have Now Hit GMH; 1,500 Bills Returned; Residents Encouraged to Check on Bill Status

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Guam – Utility ratepayers aren’t the only ones affected by the recent changes in the delivery of US Postal Mail, the Guam Memorial Hospital received 1,500 returned bills in the mail in the past month.

GMH Administrator Joe Verga is advising residents to get in touch with the hospital’s billing department in case you were affected.

The average returned mail that GMH receives every month is about 200 bills. But within the past month, the hospital got 1,500 sent back. They too were affected by the recent changes in the US Postal Service delivery system. 15

“In light of recent problems with the US Mail, this box here contains about 700 bills that just came back to GMH,” announced GMH Administrator Joe Verga, pointing to a cardboard box containing the returned mail. “This is the second box of about 700 bills of about 2 weeks bringing the total to about 1,500 that have come back to GMH.”

He says the extraordinarily high amount of returned mail will surely impact the hospital’s finances.

‘It definitely affects cash flow if folks don’t get their bills and pay it. We’re counting on receiving a certain amount of cash being paid from those bills and when folks aren’t paying those bills it affects our cash flow and it affects everything across the whole hospital,” Verga pointed out.

Which is why, says Verga, he invited PNC to GMH so he can demonstrate how easy it is to pay your hospital bill. Verga himself was treated at the emergency room recently and received a hospital bill.

This cashier window, near the entrance of the hospital is open on weekdays from 7am to 6 pm. GMH Spokesperson June Perez says there are also other ways to be able to pay your hospital bill after hours.

The hospital has a drive thru drop lock box at the main entrance and a 24 hour cashier at the emergency department. For payment plans or other billing questions, GMH also has a business office on the first floor which is open from 8am to 5 pm on weekdays.

Meanwhile, Verga says that tax refund garnishments are already in effect. So far, for the latest round of refunds to be mailed out this week, out of the $20 million, Verga says GMH will get $263,000 in tax garnishments. But the total that GMH sent to Rev and Tax for garnishments is about $15 million.

“If you are owed a tax refund, you may either receive the refund if your refund is less than the amount that you owe the hospital, or you will receive the balance of the refund if your refund is more than what you owe. So the hospital bill will be taken out of your refund and then the individual will recieve the balance. And that’s why it’s very important for folks to make arrangements to pay their bill, even if they can’t pay all of it,” Verga stated.

To find out if your bill is one of the 1,500 that got sent back, you can call GMH’s billing office at 647-2126 or 2127. 

READ the release from GMH below:

HOW TO PAY YOUR GMH BILL
FOR IMMEDIATE MEDIA DISTRIBUTION
April 17, 2014

With over $150 million in unpaid patient bills, the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority (GMHA) urges all GMH patients to please pay their bills on a timely basis.  The following are some helpful tips:

Get an itemized bill estimate before leaving GMH as a patient.
Please pay your bill before leaving GMH as a patient.
Payments can also be made through the following services:

a.    Pay by phone with credit cards only by calling 647-2265;
b.    Pay by curb-side payment drop box for check payments only. Drop box is located at the GMH front entrance drive through area.  Drop box is locked with closed circuit camera and security surveillance.
c.    Pay at Business Office Cashier Windows open 7:00 am – 6:00pm for all payments, closed weekend and GovGuam holidays.
d.    Pay at the Emergency Dept. Cashier Windows open 24 hours a day, every day for all payments.
e.    Cashier Windows are for payment services only.  

For personal assistance with billing questions and payment plans, the GMH Business Office hours are 8:00am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday, closed weekend and GovGuam holidays.
Billing questions and payment plan requests can also be emailed to paymygmhbill@gmha.org or call 647-2126/2127/2231/2232.
GMH provides two 10 minute reserved parking spots for bill payers.
Curb side payment services are available for the elderly and people with disabilities.  Please give advance notice to the Business office by calling 647-2265.  

Once again GMHA urges all patients to please pay their bills promptly.  GMHA is deeply grateful for any and all efforts patients make to meet their financial obligations to GMH.  Patient payments help ensure GMH continues to provide quality hospital services to all.  For further details, please call June Perez at 647-2415.