GMH preps for oversight hearing
by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Saying it's a sad day for transparency in the government, Healthcare Committee chairman Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. is still hopeful that the Guam Memorial Hospital will turn over documents requested in a legislative subpoena. An oversight hearing will be held this evening where discussions will focus on the peer review process and policies in place at GMH.
For the last two months, the healthcare committee has been seeking documents related to peer reviews and physicians whose privileges were revoked or suspended and are seeking reinstatement. On Friday the hospital filed a motion to quash the subpoena which was denied.
Rodriguez says he's saddened by the effort and is hoping for compliance, telling KUAM News, "I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there. We're hoping though that they'll be able to provide these documents and the legislature can do a review of the policies in place there. And really this is all about ensuring that we have a peer review process at the hospital that's really for the benefit of you and I."
The oversight hearing will also include discussions on the hospital's flatlining finances as we well as the status of the Skilled Nursing Facility, which received a scathing report from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.
GMH legal counsel Tom Fisher meanwhile filed a petition with the Guam Supreme Court today asking that it order the trial court to take jurisdiction of the matter. The court did not respond so fisher says they will comply with the subpoena as best they can.
The oversight hearing begins at 6:30 this evening at the Legislature's Public Hearing Room.