The financially troubled LBJ Hospital in American Samoa is proposing hefty rate increases later this month.
The hospital says the rate increase is critically needed now because of continuing uncertainty over government funding.
Don Wiseman has more:
"If it gets approval, on December the 24th outpatient fees at the LBJ Hospital will jump from ten to fifty US dollars for all clinics except for the Dialysis Clinic which will increase from ten to 250 dollars. The minimum charge for surgery would be 200 dollars, births will cost 200 and prescriptions will go from ten to 40 dollars. Inpatient stays would jump from 15 dollars a day to 100 dollars, except in Intensive Care where people will be charged 200 dollars a day. The hospital says it cannot guarantee the availability of patient services without a regular and predictable revenue stream. In the fiscal year that ended September 30th, the Fono approved an appropriation of four point six million dollars but has so far paid less than 40 percent of that amount. A public hearing on the proposed rates has been scheduled for December the 19th."