GMH officials dispute physician's criticism - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GMH officials dispute physician's criticism

Posted: Jun 12, 2018 5:35 PM Updated:

Officials from the Guam Memorial Hospital called a news conference Tuesday to respond to Dr. Kozue Shimabukuro's allegations. One of the key concerns she raised was a purported $22 million in lost revenue because it was never billed.

She cites incomplete or un-submitted records from doctors. This was disputed by both former medical director Dr. Larry Lizama, and chief financial officer Benita Manglona.

Dr. Lizama said, "The deficiencies of the medical record are included in that $22 million. What is actually not billable because of lack of report, you know, those are important, there's some critical elements of the medical record that will translate to finances, but not all of them, not all of the deficiencies of the medical records translate into lost revenue."

"We have also held physicians to completing their medical charts. We have, I'm not supposed to say this, I'm not supposed to do this, but I have delayed their billing, delayed their payment to them," Manglona stated.

Manglona estimates the current unbilled amount is about $2 million. Hospital CEO Peter John Camacho says it's also not true that they tried to silence Dr. Shimabukuro by not letting her attend public meetings at the legislature. They are concerned that the allegations may impact the implementation of a sales tax that's earmarked to ease their chronic funding shortfall.

"I think here allegations have definitely hurt the hospital because it raises a lot of doubt again, about what we do here and whether or not we're doing things correctly. And given all the challenges the community faces, we understand that. But it doesn't remove the fact that the hospital is short $30 million a year," he said.

He says they fully expect to respond to questions about Dr. Shimabukuro's allegations at Monday's oversight hearing.

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