Medicaid Director explains Medical Director position

During review of the American Samoa Medicaid Office budget this week, Director Sandra King Young was asked about the recent appointment of Dr. Annie Fuavai as the Medical Director.

Senate President Tuaolo Manaia Fruean asked if the position requires an MD.

King Young explained that the requirement under Medicaid is someone who is licensed by the local Health Services Regulatory Board. She said Dr. Fuavai was selected because she is knowledgeable and experienced with the services available at LBJ.

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According to the Medicaid Director, Dr. Fuavai will help validate of island referrals.

She said that the LBJ Hospital decides who to refer off island, not her office. This is her explanation of the eligibility requirements for referrals.

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The Medicaid Office budget for the new fiscal year totals $85.7 million. The number of employees is 21.

For the current fiscal year its budget is $89.2 million and the number of employees is 18.

$85 million is from Medicaid grants but this funding requires a local match for every dollar that is spent. The Special Programs budget under the Governor’s Office includes $4 million for the Medicaid local match.

The breakdown of the budget is:

  • $1.1 million for Salaries,
  • $76,079,000 for Contractual Services,
  • $810,000 for Travel,
  • $5,036,000 for Equipment
  • $122,000 for Materials and Supplies
  • $2.5 million for All Others

For the last several years, Medicaid has not been able to use the full Medicaid grant for American Samoa because it did not have adequate local match.