CHC: Over 60,000 visits yearly, daily census at 90 pct. capacity


The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. described the Commonwealth Health Center as a busy community hospital that draws a large number of visits every year.
Hospital services director Jesse Tudela reported to the corporation that the facility has more than 60,000 outpatient visits each year. It also has a daily census nearing 90 percent capacity.

The public hospital is an 86-bed Medicare certificated facility that opened in 1968 and was expanded in 2007. Its scope of services includes emergency medicine, obstetrics, post-partum care, adult and neonatal intensive care, radiology, medical social services, food and dietetic services, medical lab, pharmacy, hemodialysis, mental health and various outpatient services.

According to Tudela’s report, which he submitted Thursday to the CHCC board, the hospital strives to maintain full staffing of its health care workforce through recruitment, retention, and building local capacity. He said it is the mission of CHC to provide and deliver compassionate patient care, patient safety and skilled healthcare to people on the islands.

Despite a number of challenges, Tudela cited some notable accomplishments throughout the hospital that he attributes to the collaboration and shared ownership by all hospital staff, which bated the immediate jeopardy status in early 2013.

Tudela acknowledged, though, that challenges still exist, mainly due to the inadequate funding for the hospital’s operation.

During last week’s meeting of the CHCC board, it was indicated that the corporation will continue to face similar, if not more, challenges ahead. This, after the agency’s financial data showed that the corporation remains in the red and is operating at a deficit—some $6 million in fiscal year 2013—due to unpaid obligations to vendors.

CHC’s Condition of Participation with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid is still hanging in the balance after CMS delayed anew its decision, giving the hospital until June this year to rectify ongoing concerns.

Saipan Tribune learned that of the 13 “conditions” identified in an earlier CMS report, nine remain not fully complied with by the public hospital.

Moneth G. Deposa | Reporter

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