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Am Samoa Medicaid Office makes progress with Queens Hospital


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The American Samoa Medicaid State Agency is making progress to advance an AS Medicaid Provider Agreement with Queens Hospital in Hawaii, to enable the American Samoa Medicaid State Agency to refer patients to the Queens hospital system, according to Medicaid Director Sandra King Young, who said of the agreement — “much to celebrate” when it happens.

 In press release, dated December 20, 2023, the ASMSA explained that “in 2014, Queens denied the American Samoa Medicaid State Agency’s request for patient access due to our government’s past poor credit history.

“Efforts to gain acceptance have been unsuccessful, until now, due to the efforts of Governor Lemanu P.S. Mauga.”

And in her latest meeting met again with Queens last week, the AS-Medicaid Director “accepted new changes to the agreement to move the process forward for Queen’s corporate review and approval.”

King Young said, “In 2022 when borders reopened, we approached Queens again about a contract and it did not go anywhere, until Governor Lemanu Mauga got involved this past July.

“It is thanks to Governor Lemanu’s involvement that we are now sitting at the table with Queens again.

“Over the past several months, we have been negotiating the terms and language of the provider agreement.

“I’m just happy that Queens is still at the table with us and things are looking optimistic.

“I had hoped to sign an agreement at last week’s meeting, but Queens is a large hospital with several corporate layers and it is reasonable that this process will take longer than we expected.

“They have requested additional provisions in our approved CMS agreement, and they are reasonable.”

According to the media release, “If Queens accepts and signs the final agreement with the AS Medicaid State Agency, American Samoa will officially be able to refer all dual eligible Medicare and Medicaid American Samoa residents to Queens.

“Currently, only Adventist Castle hospital is the authorized hospital in the State of Hawaii for the AS Medicaid program.”

Samoa News reached out to King Young to characterize her latest meeting with Queens. She responded that “things are looking up with Queens.

“Hoping we can finalize an agreement by February or March.

“Much to celebrate when that happens.”