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CHCC pays $2.5M to CUC

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THE Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. has made a partial payment of $2.5 million to the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.

In an interview, CHCC Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said the central government transferred the money to CHCC. “We paid [CUC] as soon as we received the $2.5 million,” she added.

As of June 12, 2020, CUC said CHCC had an outstanding balance of over $35 million for utility services. The amount continues to grow by about $400,000 per month, CUC said.

Muna said CHCC officials have requested to meet with the CUC board and Executive Director Gary Camacho to discuss a payment arrangement.

“A letter was sent to the board [of CUC], but we have yet to receive their response,” she added.

CUC earlier demanded at least $5 million from CHCC by Aug. 6 or the hospital would be disconnected  from power six hours daily.

In explaining why the healthcare corporation cannot make regular and timely payments to CUC, CHCC chief financial officer Derek Sasamoto said the costs of  uncompensated care at the hospital   continue to increase every year.

In the current fiscal year alone, these costs have reached $18 million, Sasamoto added.

He also cited the unfunded medical services they provide to government agencies and the budget allocations that were due to CHCC but have not been remitted yet.

Muna said CHCC continues to explore long-term solutions to its utility expenses.

She said one of their recommendations to CUC is to impose the commercial rate on CHCC instead of the government rate, which is three times higher.

She said CHCC is also pursuing its solar power system project,  phase 1 of which has been completed and is expected to supply 22% of the hospital’s power needs. However, there has been a delay in connecting the system to the facility due to the ongoing pandemic.

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