Tamuning, Guam. On January 20, 2012, the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority Board of Trustees at the recommendation of GMHA administration officials voted to terminate the Direct Payer Agreement with TakeCare Insurance, which would be effective on 20 March 2012. Both parties have met on numerous occasions to resolve the situation, but to no avail.
Upon learning of an apparent impasse in negotiations and discussions, Health Committee Chairman Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr. sought intervention and requested a mutual meeting with GMH and TakeCare officials. A joint meeting was held yesterday at the senator’s office between TakeCare Insurance COO Jeff Larsen, Manager Grace Murphy, GMHA Interim Administrator Rey Vega, Medical Director Dr. Larry Lizama, and Senator Rodriguez. The senator stressed the importance of both parties reaching a compromise and resolving the issue immediately. “My interest is to see this matter resolved and the differences between both parties addressed for the best interest of our hospital and our people who are TakeCare Insurance members.” Senator Rodriguez stated as he opened the meeting. The senator acknowledges the challenging work the hospital administration is undertaking to improve its finances; however the consequences of allowing the termination of its direct payer agreement with TakeCare to stand will only exacerbate the matter. “Placing TakeCare members into a self pay category will not be good for the hospital as this will further threaten its financial solvency. We cannot place the burden of verifying hospital bills to our people who are already experiencing a stressful hospitalization.” Stated Senator Rodriguez.
The joint meeting resulted in several compromises between both parties and the reaffirmation of TakeCare Insurance to continue its cooperative partnership with the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority. Based on the discussions from this joint meeting, GMH officials committed to recommend to its Board of Trustees the reinstatement of TakeCare Insurance’s Direct Payer Agreement at its next BOT meeting scheduled before the end of February 2012.