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How will critical hospital projects be funded?

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How will the hospital's urgent capital improvements projects be funded in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget? That's the question health oversight Sen. Therese Terlaje is asking. 

She said the governor's Guam Memorial Hospital budget request is missing funding sources for major capital improvement projects.

"In particular three that are urgent that are not at all included in their budget request," she said. "So I haven't heard a plan as to how those are going to be funded and why they're not included in the regular budget request."


The hospital asking for $61 million for FY2020. $25 million would come from special funds. The remaining $36 million - which cites no funding source - slated to be used for capital improvement projects and operations.

Three of those projects deemed "urgent" by GMH - a $20 million information system the hospital has noted would help answer Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services reporting requirements quicker.
- A $6 million power upgrade to GMH's electrical panel. CMS citing this as a hazard for the hospital
- A $5 million structural roof repair


"The roof that's just common sense at this point," Terlaje said. "We can't have patients and our families walking in there with a leaking roof. They're not going to have any comfort in the care they're going to receive if we can't fix the roof."

The senator said she's not sure why Adelup would leave these projects' funding source off the table. These three items raised the eyebrows of CMS, jeopardizing GMH's Medicare status.

"I'm trying to keep my eye on the revenues that are being brought in," Terlaje said. "The revenues that were projected to be brought and the reports right now look like they're bringing in more that they've projected to bring in and if that's the case, then I can't see why we're going to delay giving to the hospital what it needs especially for these projects."

Magah'aga Lou Leon Guerrero, during a tour of the hospital in February, pledged $30 million to GMH and that's how much Terlaje says these projects will cost. The governor said at the time she would address GMH's yearly $30 million shortfall with $6 million from a CMS adjustment to GMH's base rate and by stepping up tax collections.

"We don't really need to wait for a dedicated funding source to fund the hospital," the governor said. "My contention has always been that if the hospital needs $30 million from the government to make sure that our patients and our people are given the quality of health care than we need to give the $30 million."



We tried to follow up with the governor, but our requests for an interview were declined, and Adelup Spokeswoman Krystal Paco said KUAM may have taken the governor's comments "out of context."

Meanwhile, Terlaje says if there are excess revenues available, they need to be put on the table for an accurate read of GovGuam's finances heading into the FY20 budget hearings.

"If they've got another source of funding this, I think that should be put up front," she said.

Hospital CEO Lillian Posadas tells KUAM News from February to April, the hospital received $10.7 million from CMS' rebasement. That money covering FY 2014-2018.

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