Kaiser Expresses Interest in Maui Hospital Partnership
By Wendy Osher
Kaiser Permanente is preparing to submit a letter of interest to participate in the process for selection as Maui Memorial Medical Center seeks a management company for a public private partnership.
Representatives at Kaiser said now that a bill is finalized setting the framework for a partnership, Kaiser has a clearer picture of what’s expected and what is involved.
Wes Lo, Chief Executive Officer for the Maui Regional System responded to the inquiry saying, “The more offers we have on the table, the more opportunity we’ll have to find the best partner for the Maui Region. At the same time, we remain grateful to Hawaii Pacific Health for the amount of time and resources dedicated during this legislative process.”
He continued saying, “Our priority is taking care of our community and our employees and so we hope to see some forward movement from the Governor’s office very soon, because our financial situation does not afford us the luxury of time.”
The bill was drafted in an effort to save the hospital from potential job and service cuts due to a $28 million budget shortfall.
Earlier this week, Kaiser representatives drafted a letter to legislators expressing their interest following the passage of hospital related legislation. Below is the complete text of the letter:
Kaiser Letter to Legislators:
Due to the passage of recent legislation, Kaiser Permanente is preparing to submit a letter of interest to participate in the process for the selection of a partner for Maui Memorial Medical Center.
We are taking this action because Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi is committed to providing excellent care to the people of Maui and we believe that preserving a fiscally sound, high-quality community hospital network on the island is essential to the future of the Valley Isle. We remain firmly anchored to our roots on Maui, with more than 40 percent of the island’s residents now entrusting us with their care.
We view our long-established presence on the island, coupled with our dedication to exceptional patient-centered medicine, as key factors in ensuring a robust partnership that creates a meaningful and positive impact on the health of the entire community.
In pursuing such a partnership, Kaiser Permanente is committed to keeping Maui Memorial Medical Center open to the entire Maui community, serving all patients, not just Kaiser Permanente members. This includes accepting a variety of health insurance plans. We are committed to continuing to work with community physicians who already practice at the hospital alongside Kaiser Permanente physicians, and we are intent on working with government leaders and labor representatives to ensure the long-term sustainability of the hospital, while continuing to provide community outreach and charitable care services.
Kaiser Permanente has more than 52,000 members on the island. In addition to the work we already do at Maui Memorial Medical Center, we provide health care services at six Maui locations (Kīhei, Lahaina, Maui Lani, Maui Lani ʻElua, Wailuku, and Behavioral Health Services at Wells Street), including primary and specialty care services, home health, out-patient dialysis, physical therapy, and sports medicine. Following a recent agreement with Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente physicians will also be providing the majority of pediatric inpatient care at the hospital beginning in June.
Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi is privileged to have been a part of the local community for more than 55 years. As a non-profit charitable organization, Kaiser Permanente also is dedicated to serving the Maui community in ways beyond providing health care, contributing resources to education, community service programs and other community initiatives that improve the lives of Maui’s families. We value our relationship with Maui Memorial Medical Center and want to see it thrive and continue to serve the Maui community for decades to come.