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Last updateSun, 20 Oct 2019 8pm







    Sunday, October 20, 2019-5:35:17A.M.






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Report: Uncompensated care continues to hurt CHCC

THE Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. recorded more than $11 million in gross revenue, but due to uncompensated care, CHCC ended with a $7 million deficit, its 2018 report stated.

CHCC’s gross revenue grew from $54.9 million in 2017 to $66.3 million in 2018,

The CHCC report noted that the majority of the revenue came from up-front hospital payments and third-party payor revenue.

CHCC also received non-revenue funding of over $10 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Despite the revenue increase, the report said that CHCC incurred $18.3 million in uncompensated care in 2018.

Aside from uncompensated care, CHCC also absorbed the health services for Department of Corrections inmates and is tasked to oversee inter-island medical referrals. These are not funded by the government, the report stated.

But “these challenges are small in comparison to the consistent issues with uncompensated care arising from a lack of options for insurance in the CNMI, especially for low-income individuals,” the report stated.

“An important component of CHCC’s high uncompensated care costs is Medicaid funding. Medicaid is a crucial aspect of CNMI healthcare and CHCC revenue,” the report added. 15,316 individuals are currently enrolled in the Medicaid program.

According to CNMI Medicaid Director Helen C. Sablan, the program has already exhausted federal and local funding for the current fiscal year.

In effect, the report stated, CHCC “bore the burden” of the Medicaid funding crisis after Sablan announced in May that the CNMI Medicaid office will no longer reimburse the health services provided to Medicaid patients by private clinics.

CHCC is now the only primary care provider for Medicaid patients.