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LBJ admin submits its first quarter performance report

fili@samoanews.com

Faced with a drop in revenue, old unpaid debts and a decreasing level of funding from the federal government, LBJ Medical Center has taken steps to address the shortfall.
 
The medical center’s CEO Mike Gerstenberger reported in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 performance report that LBJ encountered a “number of insults” during this period, which covers Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2012.
 
He says these insults impact LBJ’s revenue negatively including when the Fono cut $1 million from the hospital’s FY 2013 budget and proposed FY 2013 be stripped of the entire $10 million for the off-island medical referral program.
 
Additionally, there is no word on the $1.25 million the hospital budgeted in FY 2013 to be received from the 2 percent wage tax.  Moreover, LBJ is estimating a loss of $1.35 million annually in federal Medicaid funding because the number of “presumed eligibles” for Medicaid dropped from 87 percent of the population to 73 percent of the population.
 
There is also $2.9 million in outstanding vendor payments from previous years carried over to the current fiscal year.
 
In response to these “insults”, Gerstenberger says, the hospital has implemented steps to address the shortfall this fiscal year. Among the steps are freezing 71 vacant positions; reducing overtime by 20 percent; reducing utility expenses by 20 percent; and eliminating capital improvement expenditures.
 
LBJ has also implemented a vast reduction in educational travel expenses; eliminated minor equipment purchases and eliminated cell phone expenses.
 
ANONYMOUS SURVEY
 
Wages and inadequate workspace remain the top gripes from physicians and other employees at LBJ, but on the whole hospital employees remain “very satisfied” working at LBJ.
 
This came to light in the hospital’s third annual anonymous survey of employees and physicians. The survey is intended to provide a vehicle for candid assessment of the medical center’s performance from the perspective of its doctors and other employees.
 
CEO Gerstenberger says over 53 percent of employees and 74 percent of physicians participated in the survey.
 
And the results are that 79 percent of employees and 72 percent of physicians reported that they were “very satisfied” working for LBJ.
 
For the third year, Gerstenberger says,” inadequate work space and low salaries were the chief drawbacks reported.”
 
This information about the survey results and other issues pertaining to the hospital including the financial woes are outlined in the LBJ’s first quarter performance report - Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2012 - for current fiscal year 2013.
 
The first quarter performance report was sent to governor and the Legislature recently.
 
 



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