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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Health corporation payables at $13M

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. has at present over $13 million in payables that it is trying to resolve using its revenues and collections.

Cora Ada, acting chief financial officer, said yesterday that the amount is inclusive of the $3 million line of credit with the Marianas Public Land Trust, which is due in March this year.

Records obtained by Saipan Tribune indicate that the $13 million-plus payables is as of Dec. 31, 2013.

These include of $2.9 million that is owed the NMI Retirement Fund representing unremitted employer’s contribution since fiscal year 2012, when the corporation was created.

Ada pointed out that despite the non-remittance of employer contribution to the Fund since 2012, the corporation pays in full its obligations for its employees when they elect to retire from service.

A portion of the payables is unpaid obligations owed the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., amounting to $6.5 million plus. Ada said this amount does not include the penalties assessed by CUC. The utility agency sued the corporation last month, claiming it owes CUC over $9 million.

Corporation interim CEO Esther Muña earlier told Saipan Tribune that funding constraints allow the corporation to pay CUC only half of the organization’s monthly billing, which averages $500,000.

Ada emphasized yesterday, however, that CHCC diligently pays for its utilities in the amount it can afford. Saipan Tribune learned that the monthly payment to CUC is $250,000.

For payables to vendors, Ada said the unpaid obligation as of Dec. 31 is at $500,000, which includes vendors for medical supplies and other operational cost. This amount excludes some accounts in previous fiscal years, because the corporation needs to review its records and reconcile, she said.

“There’s been great improvement on payments; however, CHCC operates 24/7 and every day we incur expenses as we procure medical and other operational supplies to sustain the operation of the hospital,” said Ada.

The corporation has been making strides in its revenues and collection. Ada said the monthly average hospital collection is about $2.1 million—an amount far higher than what the then Department of Public Health collected each month—about $400,000.

The improved collection, Ada said, is due to the certified public expenditure allowed for the corporation that increased reimbursements from Medicaid and Medicare.

At a previous CHCC board meeting, Ada reported that CHCC generated a total of $32.2 million in revenues during fiscal year 2013. This is higher than the $24.9 million collected in fiscal year 2012.

The fiscal year 2013 revenue came from the following areas: CHC, $29.5 million; Public Health Division, $323,066; Tinian Health Center, $344,449; Rota Health Center, $245,120; and seed money (appropriation from the Legislature), $1.8 million; Medicare reimbursement amounted to $8.3 million while Medicaid reimbursement was at $10.1 million. Collection from insurance companies totaled $6.3 million last fiscal year, among others.

The corporation projects to collect $40.9 million this fiscal year 2014.

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