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$10M shortfall at GMH

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - The Guam Memorial Hospital's finances are in need of some urgent care. GMH chief financial officer Alan Ulrich says island leaders have been invited to attend Thursday's board of trustees meeting to shed light on the hospital's flatlining finances, including a $10 million shortfall as the fiscal year comes to a close.

In addition, Ulrich reports outstanding debts GMH has yet to pay, specifically to Perry Point, a large distributor of medical supplies. Ulrich says Perry Point is owed over $6 million but learned in July that the Department of Treasury has been garnishing Medicare payments to GMH at over a million dollars a month to pay down the outstanding debt. This is in addition to Medicare and MIP exhausting most of their appropriated expenditures - a combination with adverse affects on GMH's ability to pay other vendors and make payroll.

But that's not all as Ulrich is concerned lawmakers and the governor will not appropriate adequate funding to meet next fiscal year's needs.

GMH presented their $144 million request, what GMH contends is a "balanced" budget as they continue to pursue higher reimbursement rates.

The board meeting is scheduled for 6pm tomorrow night.

Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz has cancelled tomorrow's oversight hearing with the Department of Education to attend tomorrow night's GMH board meeting.

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