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CMS: LBJ’s loss of Medicare funding is imminent

Corrective actions should have been taken years ago

The Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) has identified more than ten violations of federal regulations at LBJ Medical Center, and the federal agency now requires LBJ to correct the violations, or face the loss of its CMS re-certification, according to two CMS letters — both dated Aug. 13 — to LBJ acting CEO, Taufete’e John Faumuina.
Of interest is that the CMS letters revealed that these violations of the Medicare program were first identified in 2010 but were never addressed.

Board to advertise LBJ CEO position locally only


The LBJ Medical Center Chief Executive Officer position will not be advertised off island as has been done in the past, rather it will only be advertised locally this time, says hospital board Chairman, Leilua Mase Akapo, who’s the current Acting LBJ Chief Executive officer.
Leilua told Samoa News yesterday via phone that Taufete’e John Faumuina was acting CEO when Leilua was off island, however now that Leilua has returned, he’s the acting CEO.

Gov stops $10K bonuses


ASG Treasurer Tonumaipe’a shared some good news with senators when he told them that Gov. Lolo Matalasi has put a stop to paying out $10,000 bonuses to long time employees who retire from government service, until such a proposal comes to the Fono for review.
The issue of bonuses surfaced in both the Senate and House last week during separate committee hearings on Tonumaipe’a's confirmation as Treasurer, and many lawmakers were disappointed that such a policy is benefiting only a few.

Hokule’a voyagers make port in Pago harbor today


The long awaited Hokule’a voyage will arrive in the territory today and an elaborate — but traditional — welcoming ceremony will be carried out at the Suigaula ole Atuvasa Beach Park in Utulei.
The traditional vessel, Hokule’a, is being accompanied by the Hikianalia, a floating laboratory powered by solar panels.

Gov. comes down hard on abuse of gov’t-funded travel

He and Lt. Gov will personally review every TA from now on

Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga has put his foot down concerning government travel, telling his cabinet last week that government employees who travel on government funds must file expense reports and give their mileage to the government’s airline mileage program if they want any of their future travel authorizations to be approved.

Court frees four Indonesian men detained at TCF

Judge signs writ saying they were improperly detained

Department of Public Safety Commissioner, William Haleck dismissed allegations that the four Indonesians were being held as prisoners. Instead, he said, “They were staying in one of the offices here at the jail.” In response to Samoa News queries, Haleck stated that the four men were released Tuesday afternoon following an order from the High Court to their sponsors.

Election Office needs more funding for Nov. election


Chief Election Officer Tuaolo M. Fruean has officially proclaimed Nov. 4 the date of the general election in American Samoa, but has told lawmakers that additional money is needed to fund this year’s election, which includes a referendum to amend the American Samoa constitution.

Fishing boat agencies unhappy with crew bonds

No time to adjust; no hope for speedy refunds

Several of the fishing vessel agencies are looking at a petition appealing to Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale to rescind the recently issued order by Chief Immigration Officer Peseta Dennis Lutu Fuimaono, “for every crew member entering American Samoa”, a bond of $500 for each person is required.
This order was sent out to all the fishing agencies in the territory, and some are not happy with this move.

Lolo’s cabinet discusses government transparency

Is it transparency, or invasion of privacy? asks Utu

American Samoa Power Authority Chief Executive Officer, Utu Abe Malae raised “with alarm” the issue of letters and personnel information being leaked to the media. His concern was voiced during the cabinet meeting last week, where he pointed out that, from his observation it’s “one’s understanding of transparency verses what is decent, and the rights of an employee, like a director or a CEO.”

CDC issues ‘chikungunya’ travel advisory for territory


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel advisory for American Samoa following reported cases of Chikungunya, or chik virus, in the territory.
In its advisory issued yesterday, the CDC said that for the first time, locally transmitted cases of Chikungunya have been reported in American Samoa. Additionally, local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area have been infected with Chikungunya and are now spreading it to people.

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