LBJ moving ahead with reduction in hours per ASG

LBJ Medical Center appears to be moving ahead with the planned temporary reduction of working hours this weekend as part of the agreement with the government to get the $3 million the government is borrowing from the Workmen’s Compensation Account.

Although there has been no official word from the hospital as to how much money is expected to be saved through this cost saving measure, Samoa News has learned that LBJ is projecting to save around $60,000 every pay period through the reduction of working hours, which go into effect Mar. 4. However, that number does not include the amount that will be saved by voluntary deductions from contract and other employees.

Currently, about $800,000 is paid out each pay period at LBJ.

Samoa News understands that the reduction of hours is currently scheduled only from March to the last pay period of June, but it could be extended, based on the hospital’s financial condition. The first reduction in pay will be reflected on the paychecks which come out March 23.

The reduction of hours was first announced by the hospital more than two weeks ago, when Gov. Togiola Tulafono signed into law the $3 million bill, the government is funding with a loan from the Workmen’s Compensation Account. The bill contains an agreement between the administration and the LBJ board in order for the $3 Mil to go to the LBJ Medical Center.

According to the hospital, the temporary hour reduction for non-exempt employees is similar to the one taken by the ASG Executive Branch last year. For example, an employee getting $20,800 annually will get a four hour reduction every two weeks while those in higher wage categories will have a higher number of reduced working hours.

Also effective Mar. 4,  temporary voluntary wage reductions will be sought from contract and exempt employees not affected by the reduction in hours.

Some employees of the hospital told Samoa News on Monday that they have not heard of any other changes on the reduction in hours, saying “many of us are prepared, but at the same time, disappointed that we are affected by such a move.”

As for the $3 million, Samoa News has learned that the hospital received 50% of the money early last week and the balance will be available once the Togiola administration is satisfied with LBJ’s short term fiscal reform plan — which is the reduction of working hours — as required by the governor.

Samoa News understands that as of last week LBJ is forecasting total revenue of $25.20 million from Feb. 1 to Sept. 30, 2012 (the end of the current fiscal year) and the projected revenues for this period include the $354,000 each month in required ASG subsidy.  Also included in the projected revenue is the $3 million.

Actual revenue collected between Oct. 1, 2011 and Jan. 31, 2012 comes to $13.23 million, according to information received by Samoa News.

Samoa News further learned that LBJ’s actual expenditures for Oct. 1, 2011 to Jan. 1, 2012 comes to $13.59 million and projected or forecast revenues for Feb. 1 to Sept. 30, 2012 total $27.02 million.

Besides payroll, Samoa News understands that LBJ’s biggest expenditure from Feb. to Sept. is the $1.2 million a month for pharmacy and supplies. The allocation pays only current bills, not overdue ones.

Samoa News also understands that the revenues and expenditures in FY 2012 for LBJ does not include a budget for the Emergency Medical Service (EMS), which was transferred back to the hospital on Jan. 1, 2012, from the Department of Public Safety.

LBJ officials testified in the House last month that there is no funding appropriation for EMS in the current fiscal year, but some House members insisted that money was approved in the FY 2012 budget for EMS.

A senior hospital official said the projected expenses for the rest of the current fiscal year does not include other outstanding debts, as well as accounts payable — which was close to $4 million.

Comment Here