By Wendy Osher
The Maui Memorial Medical Center and Hale Makua Health Services have announced plans to explore public-private partnership opportunities.
The two entities are collaborating on ideas designed to enhance the county’s continuum of healthcare, while providing cost effective coverage.
Companion bills have been introduced in both chambers of the state legislature this session, allowing the partnership to evolve within the structure of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation and MMMC.
Senator Roz Baker of Maui, who is introducing the Senate version of the bill said it will, “facilitate the partnership opportunity between Maui Memorial and Hale Makua for offering an integrated delivery system of care from the acute to the post acute setting.”
“In turn these efforts will improve cost efficiencies between the two organizations and more importantly provide better healthcare for Maui’s people,” said Sen. Baker.
While the specific details of a partnership still need to be worked out, options for collaboration may include organizational realignment and affiliation strategies.
Both organizations plan to spend the next several months developing a partnership plan with sustainable, effective and quality health care in mind.
Currently, Hale Makua is faced with an unprecedented number of empty long-term and skilled nursing facility beds at its two nursing homes; while MMMC has a consistent list of patients who have no point of discharge.
“Over the past several years MMMC has seen a steady wait list of patients who need skilled nursing care and yet cannot be discharged due to a number of factors,” said MMMC Chief Executive Officer Wesley Lo.
“We hope to work closely with Hale Makua to find creative solutions to address this issue and provide the appropriate care for our patients.”
Hale Makua Health Services is a private non-profit that provides long-term nursing care and homes for up to 344 residents. Services also include social work, case management, rehab, and adult day care.
Maui Memorial Medical Center is the island’s only full-service, acute medical care facility, which is licensed for 213 acute care beds. The hospital employs 1,200 people and is the only hospital outside of Oahu that provides a full range of cardiac services.
The boards of directors of each organization have discussed possible partnership scenarios to determine the feasibility of health care collaboration.
Hale Makua Chief Executive Officer, Tony Krieg said members of both boards are hopeful that a new, cost effective partnership can be established in the next few months.