Halted: Maui Hospital Transition Hits Speed Bump
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today entered an order temporarily stopping activities related to the transition of Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital & Clinic, and Lānaʻi Community Hospital to a private operator.
The state Attorney General noted that today’s order lasts only until September 30, 2016, unless sooner terminated by the Court. The Court also ordered the parties to the lawsuit to file a joint status report on or before June 30, 2016.
In 2015, the state legislature passed a law ending the Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corporation’s delivery of health care services at the three Maui facilities and transferring service delivery to a private operator.
On January 14, 2016, the Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corporation board and its regional board signed an agreement to transition to a new Kaiser entity, Maui Health Systems.
United Public Workers, representing some of the Maui hospital employees, sued to stop the transition from taking place in the case of United Public Workers v. Ige. On February 19, 2016, United States District Court Judge Helen Gillmor ruled in favor of the State, and UPW appealed to the federal 9th Circuit Court.
Today’s order does not rule on the appeal.
Attorney General Doug Chin said, “At oral arguments before the 9th Circuit in April, certain judges expressed concern about the impact of the transition on the affected UPW employees. The administration and legislature have put together multiple solutions to address these concerns. We will comply with the 9th Circuit’s order and report our progress to them.”