After six months of open meetings, hearings and closed-door sessions, today Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corporation’s Maui Regional System Board announced the selection of Kaiser Permanente as its choice to operate its facilities under a planned partnership.
In April, Kaiser Permanente expressed interest in participating in the process for selection as Maui Memorial Medical Center sought a management company for a public private partnership.
A bill aimed at setting the groundwork for a public-private partnership passed into law this past legislative session as the hospital administration sought protections from potential job and service cuts due to a projected $28 million budget shortfall.
House Bill 1075 was singed into law in June, authorizing the Maui Region of the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation to enter into negotiations for a public-private operational and management agreement.
HHSC’s Maui Region facilities – which include Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital – were authorized to transfer operations to a new entity through the bill, which became Act 103 upon the governor’s signing.
“As a board, we were grateful for the opportunity to talk to staff, physicians, and our friends and neighbors about what kind of healthcare model we want moving forward,” said Avery Chumbley, Maui Regional System Board Chair in a press release announcement this morning. “Kaiser Permanente provided us with its vision and strategy for improved healthcare in the Maui Region. We felt Kaiser Permanente could best serve the needs of our community,” said Chumbley.
According to the board announcement, “once negotiations are complete and a definitive agreement is executed, Kaiser Permanente will become the new operator of the Maui Region facilities. The Maui Regional System Board will serve as the custodial caretaker of the property with oversight over the performance of the terms and conditions of the lease.”
“We have a responsibility to meet the healthcare needs of our community, and we believe this transition provides us the greatest path forward to continue doing this,” said Wesley Lo, CEO of HHSC Maui Region in a statement. “Act 103 was the culmination of years of hard work and dedication from our staff, physicians, past and current board members, and local leaders – our community will be better served thanks to their vision and determination.”
The proposed partnership has received resistance from local and state groups – including unions.