GMH's flatlining finances go from bad to worse - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GMH's flatlining finances go from bad to worse

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - According to an audit released late this afternoon by the Guam Office of Public Accountability "fiscal year 2013 was a challenging year for the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority as inadequate cash flow severely jeopardized GMHA's operations and its ability to provide basic, appropriate patient care.

The report went on to state that for the first time auditors in its unmodified opinion for FY13 emphasized that GMHA has incurred recurring losses and negative cash flows from operations that raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.

The report described how expenditures have steadily increased over the last five years but in contrast revenues declined. Auditors also noted how operating losses since 2009 went from $6 million to $34 million in FY2013.  Operating losses according to the report are unsustainable without significant increases from the General Fund. According to the Guam OPA GovGuam must provide financial support for the hospital's services to self pay and uninsured patients, which represents 13% of GMHA's billings. The audit provided a litany of other problems: such as cash flow shortages continuing to have an impact on the hospital's ability to meet payroll and make timely vendor payments, health insurance rates not being adjusted since 2006, and problems such as the GMHA Healthcare Trust and Development Fund which provides revenues from gaming activities not living up to expectations.

Hospital administrator Joseph Verga was still reviewing the audit and could not provide comment today. You can read the audit at GuamOPA.org.

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