GMH puts TakeCare on notice - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GMH puts TakeCare on notice

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - As the Guam Memorial Hospital attempts to revive its nearly-flatlining finances, the agency's Board of Trustees passed a resolution on Thursday night to terminate the payer agreement with TakeCare. The decision was made after the board spent two-and-a-half hours in executive session.  Hospital management referred all inquiries to legal counsel Tom Fisher, who told KUAM News the hospital will provide notice to TakeCare of the decision that will take affect in 60 days. 

This means that in two months, GMH will no longer accept TakeCare insurance.  Attorney Fisher says those who are insured by TakeCare will be regarded as self-paying at hospital facilities. 

When asked why the hospital is issuing the notice, Fisher would only say it is in the best interest of the Guam Memorial Hospital and no other comment would be provided at this time. TakeCare's monthly bill to the hospital is between $600,000 and $700,000 and GMH officials could not say how many of their patients are covered under the health insurance company.  KUAM News was told concerns were raised because TakeCare allegedly has continuously delayed payment to the hospital.

Officials from TakeCare meanwhile reserved comment, as they have not received any official formal notice.

While officials aren't providing any other comments on the issue, the board made it clear to hospital management on Thursday night that getting GMH's financial house in order is a top priority. Chief financial officer Siva Karuppan said, "The board understands that we do have tremendous hurdles in front of us and encouraged us to do what we can to control costs, look at our payroll numbers, cut down on overtime, take a look at new opportunities to increase revenue and so on and so forth."

The board meanwhile continues to look for a new administrator. Chairman Lee Webber confirmed that some individuals have been interviewed but no decision has been made as the board reviews other potential candidates.

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