Guam Hospital Fees To Be Increased By 60 Percent In 2014

admin's picture

Board also accepts proposed budget with $20 million increase

By Joy White

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, May 1, 2013) – By fiscal year 2014, Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH) will implement fee increases of 60 percent across the board.

According to Alan Ulrich, GMH’s chief financial officer, the hospital’s fee schedule has not been updated for more than 20 years – even as the cost of living and the prices of GMH operations have increased hence.

The hospital board unanimously approved the budget which GMH management presented for FY2014 on Monday night.

The proposed budget factored in the fee increases, as well as updated reimbursements from Medicaid, Medicare and the Medically Indigent Program.

Ulrich said the hospital management will continue to work with insurance companies to ease in the new fees, which were initially proposed to increase by 80 percent.

Balanced budget

The budget represents a $20 million increase from last fiscal year’s budget of $94 million.

According to Ulrich and GMH Administrator Joseph Verga, the previous budget had not taken into account a number of factors, such as the close to $20 million debt to vendors and interest expenses.

Verga pointed out the FY2012 budget had been $113 million and the present proposal is not far off from that budget level.

Verga told the board the proposed budget is the preferred route. However, he added, if the Legislature does not approve the proposal, alternative options must be taken, such as downsizing the hospital or eliminating or reducing services.

"We feel this budget is responsible and corrects a lot of deficiencies; it adds revenue and it funds the deficit," Verga told board members.

The three Ms

Verga said the management has been working with the legislative and executive branches to have the Medicare, Medicaid and MIP reimbursement structure updated.

Currently, Medicare pays only on a per diem basis, and local funds mirror this structure.

"We are close to getting that issue resolved," Verga told the board. "We’re very hopeful we’re not far from that adjustment occurring," he added.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment