GMH working to pay off $25M in debts - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GMH working to pay off $25M in debts

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - Aside from a recommendation to start with a clean slate for its management team, the Guam Memorial Hospital will discuss its plans to pay off the millions in overdue debt that has been owed for several years. "It's all just debts that are piled up as the hospital goes about its business day-to-day, detailed GMH spokesman Connor Murphy.

$25 million is how much debt the Guam's only public hospital is sitting in. Among those numbers, Murphy says, are $14 million owed to vendors for medical supplies, $500,000 owed to dietary vendors, $5.9 million for the Government of Guam Retirement Fund, and $800,000 owed to doctors who make house calls. Earlier this month Governor Eddie Calvo approved a $12 million loan to provide some relief to those debts.

Murphy says the hospital is now working to determine which bills are critical. "What we are doing right now is prioritizing how we are going to spend the funds that come in and make sure that the loan goes as far as it can," he said.

While he says the priority includes ensuring a steady flow of medicines and supplies, Murphy admits that the biggest challenge is that the cash flow is just not coming in to meet the patient's demands. "We collect as much as we can from our patients, we've seen an increase in the number of self pay patients and usually those are the hardest to collect from because its people who don't have insurance, don't have Medicaid, don't have MIP and they're paying the hospital bill out of their own pockets so a lot of them find it hard to pay those bills off," he explained.

"We're mandated to treat every patient that comes through our doors without regard to whether that patient can pay his or her bill."

The hospital board is scheduled to meet Monday night at 7pm to formally accept the $12 million loan. Murphy says that this will serve as the backbone to help GMH recognize what else can be done to pay off the remainder of its past year financial obligations.

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