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GM Hospital seeks cash infusion for bail-out

The Guam Memorial Hospital is seeking a major cash infusion to bail it out of yet another deep financial hole.

Lawmakers during an oversight hearing yesterday were clearly frustrated over that and the many other chronic, widespread problems that plague Guam’s lone public hospital.

The oversight hearing covered a wide range of concerns, from long-standing structural deficiencies to a chronic lack of critical supplies, to perennial financial shortfalls.

But one of the most pressing issues right now is the hospital’s outstanding vendor payables.

GMH is on credit hold with some 60 vendors, CFO Yuka Hechanova says they’ve been trying to catch up little by little.

“We really do need a large cash infusion in order to make a dent in these payables,” she said. “So even if we have an increase in collections and available cash it’s immediately absorbed. We can spend it in the blink of an eye just to pay the vendors down and then a bunch of invoices come in. These supplies and pharmaceuticals are very expensive. We’re paying a lot more than we used to.”

GMH owes vendors more than $13 million, and overall is about $30 million in the hole.

Hechanova said Covid funding helped the past three years, but that’s since dried up.

“I think if we just have something to help us get caught up with the vendors we can stay on track if we keep on our track with the way that we’ve been billing so far,” he said. “And follow up with the collections. We’ve been alot more aggressive with the payers, the insurance companies, I will admit, one is really giving us a hard time, they don’t pay us. And thats very difficult when they don’t pay us. The other payers are fine, they pay us.”

But hearing again about all the chronic problems plaguing the hospital only seemed to frustrate senators.

It led to this exchange between republican Telo Taitague and GMH Administrator Lillian Posadas.

“But Lillian you’ve been there for five years and its only getting worse,” Taitague said. “Isn’t there a time for you to say OK, I can’t do it, to step down from this job and allow someone else to come in and help this hospital?”

Posadas responded, “Thank you for that idea. Yes, i will step down. Yes, I will retire. I’ve done my time. Thank you.”

The hearing was abruptly recessed, then adjourned after GMH management left and did not come back.

Afterward, Speaker Therese Terlaje issued a statement saying she’s looking to the administration and GMH management to evaluate what looks to be a crisis situation and propose new solutions as soon as possible.

Adelup issued a statement of its own today saying administrator Posadas has not officially submitted a resignation. And the governor is actively speaking with GMH leadership and will act accordingly going forward. KUAM

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