AS NEW Guam Memorial Hospital Administrator Joseph Verga wraps up his first week at the hospital, legislators are eager to call his attention to issues that need to be addressed.
Vice Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz wrote to Verga to share concerns about the technical upgrades that need to be made to the hospital in order to use new software and to make electronic billing a possibility.
“I recognize that steps must be taken to capture every dollar owed to the hospital. This is why I have drafted a floor amendment to the budget proposal presently being considered which, if successful, will include the $125,000 appropriation it needs,” Cruz said.
In a previous letter that Cruz sent to then-interim GMH Administrator Rey Vega, the former administrator said new systems are scheduled to be used by hospital staff by November this year. However, this would be dependent on the purchase of a total of 188 computer terminals. The process of upgrading hospital systems and equipment has been ongoing since 2010. Also, a funding source for the upgrades has not yet been identified.
“With e-billing for Medicaid and Medicare on the horizon, we certainly need to be prepared to have the upgrade to our information system ready to deal with those new requirements. There are a number of upgrades right now that are in progress and in the pipeline. I’m in the process of assessing where exactly and how quickly we can make improvements,” Vega said.
ACES + Q
In the short time he has been here, Verga has been assessing the needs of the hospital. He has formulated a strategic plan which relies on the pillars of accountability, cost efficiency, excellence in performance, safety, and quality, or what he terms “ACES + Q.”
Verga presented his ACES + Q strategic plan to the GMH board of trustees last night
“I’ve already seen some opportunities to increase revenue, tighten up expenditures by more efficient management and utilization of resources, [and] enhancing the collection rate of outstanding bills,” he said.
The new administrator added: “Some of these things will happen quicker than others and others will take a little more time because it’s been this way for a very long time.”
Verga is very positive there’s a better future for the hospital and is confident in the abilities of the GMH staff.