BREAKING: No Additional Fee for “Private” Postpartum Rooms at Maui Hospital

October 31, 2017, 11:31 AM HST · Updated November 1, 9:44 AM
Wendy Osher · 25 Comments
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PC: courtesy Folio ʻohana. Photo by Emma Whitney Photography. Maui Now overlay graphics

Effective Nov. 1, 2017, Maui Health System will no longer collect additional fees for private postpartum rooms at the Maui Memorial Medical Center.

“All patients will be given a private room if one is available when admitted,” according to an announcement made today.

When Maui Health System assumed operation of the state hospital in July, Maui Now reported on a 350% rate hike that was implemented on July 1, 2017, with rates going from $150 to $672.

The rate hike had been in place for less than a month, when it was temporarily delayed amid concerns raised at an update meeting hosted by MHS on the transition of Kula Hospital & Clinic, Lānaʻi Community Hospital and Maui Memorial Medical Center to management under the Maui Health System.

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More Relaxed Approach:

Today, MHS administrators announced a more relaxed approach.  Dr. Michael Kim, Medical Director of Women’s and Children’s Health Services said, “At Maui Health System, we know patients trust us to provide high-quality, affordable health care, and we’re committed to responding to the needs and feedback of the community and our patients.  With this change, more families will be able to celebrate the birth of their little ones in a private postpartum setting.”

According to MHS, more than 400 babies have been born at Maui Memorial Medical Center since July 1. The average stay in the hospital, administrators say, is estimated at around 40 hours. “Based on our assessment over the past three months, the majority of new moms will be able to get a private room during their stay,” MHS officials said in the announcement.

Dr. Martin Newman, OB/GYN Medical Staff Department Chair commented saying, “We will make every effort to provide families private opportunities to bond with their new baby.  There is an intense attachment that occurs between parents and their baby in the hours following the birth.”

New Visitation Policy Provides Flexibility for Support Person

MHS notes that preferred visiting hours in the OB department are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for general visitors; however, Maui Memorial Medical Center now allows open visitation, anytime, for one adult support individual of the patient’s choice, unless this poses a risk to patient safety.

Under previous guidelines patients reported that husbands were not allowed to stay overnight in postpartum rooms unless the couple was able to secure a private room. While the availability of a private room was not guaranteed based on the number of mothers in labor at any given time, some mothers expressed concerns that they were unable to afford the increase; while others said allowing a father to spend those first few precious moments and days with a newborn should be a given.

“We’ve had an opportunity to review our visitation policy, and we know that for many new moms, it’s important to them to have overnight postpartum support from a family member or friend,” said Dr. David Ulin, Chief Medical Director. “We’re delighted to be able to help our patients feel more comfortable during their stay, but we also ask that families be respectful of others during these quiet hours, as sleep is critical to new moms in recovery, as well as their infants.”

Administrators at Maui Memorial Medical Center say they are working on other projects to improve the patient experience for moms, babies and visitors, including looking at room refurbishments and adding a lounge area for partners to rest.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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