Governor Ige announced that The Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) entered into a lease agreement late Friday, April 22, with Maui Health Systems (a Kaiser Foundation Hospitals LLC) covering the facilities of Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital & Clinic, and Lanai Community Hospital.
On January 14, the Maui Regional Board and the HHSC Corporate Board signed an agreement transferring the operation and management of the three Maui facilities from the state to the new Kaiser entity.
“The goal is to ensure access to quality healthcare services and improved delivery of those services for the Maui Region. Revenues generated in the Maui facilities will be invested back into providing healthcare services in the Maui Region,” said Gov. Ige.
Maui Health Systems is scheduled to convene operations of the hospitals on July 1.
Mary Ann Barnes, president of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Hawaii region, says the hospitals will continue to care for all patients, regardless of their insurance — MMMC as an open, community hospital, and Kula and Lanai as critical access hospitals.
Overall, patients can expect to see some added services this summer once Kaiser takes over operations.
“We’ve talked about orthopedics, looking closely at some of the surgical services that are there, but again, we’ve got to make that assessment and work with the people of the community,” Barnes said.
Barnes said Kaiser will invest at least $20 million in electronic medical records and IT infrastructures.
“IT systems support, from a health record, administrative system, time card, business services, that will be the work over the next six months to make sure we have those in place supporting the people providing care,” Barnes said.
Kaiser was chosen because of the additional services it would provide.
“The board was interested in services like expansion of orthopedics, some surgery improvements, some additions of adolescent behavioral health and psychology services,” said Avery Chumbley, Chair, Maui Region of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation.
Gov. Ige believes the transfer will save the state money and provide better care opportunities for the community.
“The Maui proposal saves the state more than a hundred million dollars in operating costs from the subsidy perspective,” Ige said.
The governor said they have been meeting with the union to make sure employees have a seamless transition. Once Kaiser takes over, they will no longer be state employees.
HHSC’s Maui Regional System Board announced the selection on Sept. 23, 2015, thanks to Act 103 (SLH 2015), which was signed by Gov. David Ige in June and authorizes the Maui Region to transfer operation of its facilities to a new entity in order to mitigate future budget deficits.
Negotiations officially began on Oct. 22, and were led on the state’s behalf by State Comptroller and Director of the Department of Accounting and General Services Doug Murdock.
The Maui Region of HHSC serves over 11,000 inpatients and over 45,000 emergency room patients per year and employs over 1,500 people. Maui Memorial Medical Center is Maui’s only full-service, acute medical care facility and is the only hospital outside of Oahu that provides a full range of cardiac services, including open-heart surgery and angioplasty.
Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente currently serves more than 243,000 people in Hawaii, including over 55,000 on Maui. It has more than 10 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia.