GMH not getting the funding needed for budget - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GMH not getting the funding needed for budget

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - The Guam Memorial Hospital's flatlining finances continues  as for the second year in a row they are not receiving the budget they've been asking for. With Fiscal Year 2015 beginning on October 1 GMH is working tirelessly to try to get the necessary funding needed for hospital operations.

Administrator Joseph Verga told KUAM News, "The biggest thing not mentioned had to do with the $25 million that we asked for...for uncompensated trust fund and that had to do with the sustainable source of revenue that I had recommend where I had recommended a customs user fee to be used for that purpose that would be recurring."

But  Verga says that was not addressed at all in the budget bill. Also not addressed the reimbursement of their Medicare services at the actual GMH service cost. "Appropriately funding Medicare levels that was not really done in the bill that was mentioned by the Senate and we have some other things for example our pharmaceutical fund we had asked that 75 percent of the fund comes to GMH in the form of cash actual revenues not 75 percent of the fund going to Medicaid for matching fund," he said.

Verga says this means that the $9.8 million in pharmaceutical funds is misnumbered because the hospital does not receive that money. All that is received is 25 percent while the rest goes to Medicaid for matching funds. In addition GMH had asked for funding for prior year obligations and capital improvement funds. He says that too was not addressed, noting, "Those were some of the big ones $4.1 million for the hay study that I believe we were only funded $1.3 million, so again that not fully funded for prior obligations there you know when you put it all together again it is significant and so of course I am disappointed."

The Guam Memorial Hospital is receiving about $26 million less than what they requested for their Fiscal '15 budget this is the second year in a row where they have received less than what they had asked for and this has caused a strain on hospital operations.

Despite the disappointment Verga says he continues to move forward with their three-year plan to put GMH on stable ground. But it is not easy, as Verga said, "So we continue to move the hospital forward but it makes it difficult to hire adequate staff makes it difficult to pay vendors on a timely manner so it affects the hospital operations and as I said to you before patient won't feel it because we work very hard when somebody comes here sick we take care of everyone."

With only three weeks left in the fiscal year  Verga is working with the Governor's Office to identify funding to cover the FY14 shortfalls. 

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