Lawmakers Approve Funds for Maui Hospital Transfer
Lawmakers on Monday approved funds for the transfer of operations of three state run Maui County hospitals to private sector service provider Kaiser Permanente.
House and Senate conferees earmarked about $73 million for operations of the Maui Health System, funds for employee separation benefits and Capital Improvement Projects.
According to House leaders, Speaker Joseph Souki and the Maui delegation believe the hospital transfer will provide good jobs and quality health care for the people of Maui. The funding will also provide benefits for hospital workers who are now state employees when Kaiser takes over operations in July.
“The transfer of operations of Maui Memorial Medical Center to Kaiser Permanente is the largest privatization effort in Hawaiʻi,” said Souki. “Once completed it will mean a more efficient and more effective health care future for the residents of Maui County.”
In 2015, state lawmakers authorized the privatization of Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital & Clinic and Lānaʻi Community Hospital, and the state reached an agreement in January 2016 to have Kaiser Permanente operate all three.
Gov. David Ige has predicted the transfer will save the state $260 million in hospital subsidies over the next decade.
Budgeted items include:
· $3 million in general funds in FY18 for working capital or region operating subsidy.
· $33.4 million in general funds in FY18 for operations subsidy for Maui Health System.
· $30.6 million in general funds in FY18 for employee separation benefits related to the transfer of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Maui Region.
· $6 million in CIP funds in FY18 for Maui Health System facilities repairs, renovations and upgrades.