4 May 2012

CNMI billing dispute threatens doctors' mass resignation

1:57 pm on 4 May 2012

23 of the 26 doctors at the Commonwealth Health Center in the Northern Marianas have vowed to resign if the hospital's contract with a US mainland-based billing and collection agency is cancelled by the government.

In a letter to the editor of the Saipan Tribune, the 23 doctors have expressed their concern about the fate of the International Consulting Services' contract.

They say ICS has offered to help the financially struggling Health Center streamline its billing and collection system, two critical areas the hospital needs to improve if it is to continue to operate independently.

The Health Center has been in dire straits since the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation took over its operations from the now defunct Department of Public Health late last year.

The doctors say if the ICS contract is rejected, 23 of a total of 26 physicians will resign within two months.

Such a move would mean the end of Medicaid and Medicare funding.