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12 23Sun04202014

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GMH committee to discuss shortfall

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THE Guam Memorial Hospital Authority’s finance committee will be meeting today to discuss the remaining fiscal year and what can be done with the current appropriations.

GMH is facing a $10 million shortfall, due to more than $20 million of debt and being under-budgeted for this fiscal year. The proposed budget for the hospital presented in 2012 was for $93 million. However, GMH’s debt to vendors and salaries for much-needed professionals were not included in the budget.

GMH Chief Financial Officer Alan Ulrich told the Variety the hospital has been working with the Governor’s Office and the GMHA board of trustees to determine what will happen with hospital operations with the appropriations available as the fiscal year comes to an end.

“We’re looking at what has to be done relative to cash flow,” Ulrich said.

GMH recently launched an incentive program offering half off on overdue hospital bills to increase cash flow. In addition, the hospital is in communication with insurance companies.

“We’re making sure we maximize all of our revenues,” Ulrich said.

Leaving no stone unturned, the hospital is also working with the Department of Administration to determine if there are any other available funding sources.

“The question is what funding is out there, what funding is still remaining that we haven’t appropriated by the fiscal year 2013 budget bill,” Ulrich said. “We know there are some funds relative to general obligation funds that I don’t believe we have received yet.”

Looking to the future, GMH will be presenting a budget of more than $140 million for the next fiscal year.

“We’re hoping the Legislature and the Governor’s Office will support the initiatives we are presenting,” Ulrich said.

If the budget is not approved, Ulrich said the budget will have to be re-evaluated and modified.

“But we’re hoping more than ever that the Governor’s Office and Legislature can help GMH reach its fiscal goals, which is to have a balanced budget in 2014,” Ulrich added.

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