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GMH financials: one hot mess

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The Office of Public Accountability released an audit into the finances at the Guam Memorial Hospital, which reinforces the fact that the finances there are a hot mess. According to the latest report auditors found weak management oversight of compensation as thresholds were not established, the safe hours policy was not enforced, and timekeeping and payroll controls were not implemented.

This was particularly prevalent for physicians' compensation where there was a general lack of review or reluctance to question the hours worked by doctors. Further, there is no system in place to correlate the hours compensated to physicians compared to billable hours charged to patients. These and other management oversight weaknesses contributed to employees receiving more than 25% over their base pay during the three years audited without review and authorization, which can be potentially excessive and unauthorized.

For example, in 2010 a radiologist received compensation of $765,000 (219%) over the base pay authorized for a part-time radiologist. This same radiologist earned in excess of his base pay or $782,000 in 2009 and $735,000 in 2011 and worked more than 3,000 hours in each of the three years for an average of 63 hours per week without any annual or sick leave. To read the audit in its entirety go to www.guamopa.org.   

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