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GMH offers half off on debts

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FOR two months, beginning April 22 and ending June 24, the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority will give uninsured patients the opportunity to pay half of their outstanding debts.

GMHA yesterday announced a 50 percent discount on all outstanding debts from uninsured patients. An estimated 10 to 15 percent of GMH’s patients are uninsured.

“This program should be a win-win situation, providing some relief to our uninsured patients and much-needed cash infusion to GMH,” GMH Administrator Joseph Verga said in a news release.

The amnesty period applies to all charges incurred before the start of the amnesty period and also to patients whose tax refunds have been garnished for payment. The amnesty does not apply to patients who have co-payments or deductibles with insurance companies.

The amnesty was first suggested early this year. The GMHA board of trustees then approved the measure at its March board meeting.

Hospital officials suggested the amnesty to increase revenue flow. GMH is currently $22 million in debt to vendors. Additionally, the fiscal year 2013 budget was $10 million underbudgeted.

GMH is also looking at other ways to increase its revenue stream, such as an increase of its fee schedule.

In addition, GMH is pursuing aggressive collection methods. Currently the hospital is in the procurement stages of hiring a collection agency.

Various other government agencies also owe the hospital, such as the Department of Corrections, which owes up to $2.3 million.

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