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Thu Jun 27, 2019, 01:30 PM

WAPA Receives $22.9M of $39.5M Medicaid Payout in new bill; JFL Hospital Receives Funding for Raises

VIRGIN ISLANDS -- The Rules and Judiciary Committee convened in St. Thomas on Monday to hear testimony pertaining to Bill 33-0101, originally 33-0072, an Act appropriating $39,467,909 that was awarded to the V.I. Medical Assistance Program as a result of a multi-year account reconciliation and review of the territory’s health care and government entities. The legislative body re-appropriated the bill’s funding with the bulk of the money, $22.9 million, going to the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (W.A.P.A.).

The measure was initially held in committee because senators decided that it needed further vetting and that stakeholders’ input needed to be heard. The opportunity was provided during a recent Committee of the Whole hearing.

WAPA had called a meeting with senators last Wednesday to relay the authority’s desperate need of the cash. It said Vitol, which supplies the authority with propane, had threatened to cut off supply if payments were not furnished. And WAPA contended that the $22.9 million it’s asking for are funds owed to it by the territory’s two hospitals.

In Monday’s meeting, Senator Donna Frett-Gregory stated that the Senate received correspondence from Vitol demanding payment, but expressed concern that Vitol was the only firm of the multiple WAPA contractors to do so. “It seems like Vitol has inside intel,” she said. Mrs. Frett-Gregory asked that once W.A.P.A. received the $22.9 million, that it reports to the Senate what vendors were paid and how much. “I hope the vendor uses the money for the reason it was requested. The body wants proof of that.”

Read more: https://viconsortium.com/news-2/wapa-receives-22-9-million-of-39-5-million-medicaid-payout-in-new-bill-jfl-receives-funding-for-raises/

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