Lawmakers request specific budget details from LBJ before Fono convenes

A handful of individual lawmakers have made a direct request to the LBJ Medical Center management to provide full details of the medical center’s proposal of more than $52 million for their fiscal year 2014 budget. The budget document submitted last month from LBJ was only two pages.

 

The lawmakers are hoping to get the information this week before the Fono reconvenes next Monday following a three-week mid session recess. It's unclear why the FY 2014 LBJ budget was submitted without details but Samoa News has learned from a handful of lawmakers they have already made their own direct request to LBJ management for full details, especially when the FY 2014 budget has a huge increase, compared to FY 2013.

 

It's understood the Fono leadership has also made a direct request to the administration for more details on the LBJ budget.

 

According to the information found on the two-page budget, LBJ is proposing a budget of $52.57 million, compared to $35.51 million approved for FY 2013.

 

In the revenue column, the largest source listed is $11.46 million in Medicaid Funding; followed by $7.90 million in Interior Department funds; $7.89 million under the Obama Affordable Care Act; $7.82 million from Medicaid; $6 million in ASG subsidy; $5.03 million in revenue to be collected at the business office; $3.5 million to be collected under the 2% payroll tax; $2.51 million in federal grants; and only $439,000 from the fuel excise tax.

 

Information in the documents sent to the Fono didn’t provide details of how much in every revenue source LBJ has collected so far in FY 2013. The ASG subsidy is a $2 million hike from FY 2013 and Lolo had told the Fono this “additional subsidy qualifies the hospital for an additional $2 million from Medicaid funds yielding $4 million in new revenue to finance healthcare services.

 

For expenditures, personnel services is the highest expenditure at $28.31 million, followed by materials and supplies with $14.18 million; $5.78 million in capital equipment and the rest for travel, ‘all others’ and contractual services.

 

The missing budget documents would provide specific details of spending as well as other purposes. It should also show in budget details as to whether the hospital is allocating any funds in FY 2014 to restart the off-island medical referral program which has not been fully active for more than three years due to the lack of funding.

 

As in past budget hearings, lawmakers are expected to question LBJ officials over pay-scale of professional medical personnel such as doctors and nurses, versus pay for top management of LBJ.

 

Also expected to be questioned by the Fono is the amount of money LBJ is proposing to collect from the 2% payroll tax, and specifically how much the hospital has received so far this year from this revenue source.

 

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