GMH could lose participation in Medicare program - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GMH could lose participation in Medicare program

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - The Guam Memorial Hospital is in jeopardy of losing its participation in the Medicare program. Hospital Acting Administrator Rey Vega says he received the notice this week from a report from Medicare's May 27 visit to the hospital. The report cites the hospital has failed to meet the physical environment condition of participation that is required by federal regulations.

Vega says concerns were spelled out about life safety code violations such as the integrity of the walls and doors and locking mechanisms in certain areas of the hospital that could jeopardize the safety and well being of patients. The hospital administrator admits that the concerns were also identified as problem areas by the Joint Commission that accredited the facility last year.

He says JCO approved the hospital's Corrective Action Plan, which will also be submitted to Medicare. GMH was given ten days to submit evidence that it is working to correct the deficiencies otherwise the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is expected to terminate GMH's Medicare provider agreement, which could result in the loss of significant federal funding. 

Vega says hospital officials are in the process of formulating their response and is confident that the responses will meet the concerns of Medicare.  He adds GMH has already started the process of correcting the deficiencies noted by both Medicare and the Joint Commission.

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