Bill Aims to Free Up Bed Space at Maui Hospital
House Speaker Joe Souki of Maui has introduced a bill that seeks to free up beds at the Maui Memorial Medical Center by allowing patients to be moved to other long-term care facilities.
House Bill 995 seeks an appropriation of funds for Hale Makua Health Services to admit more wait-listed patients from the hospital into their care.
According to the bill, approximately 20% of the hospital’s acute care beds per day are occupied by these wait-list patients, costing the state and health care delivery systems an estimated $1,500 per day, per patient.
According to the bill: “From a financial perspective, without adequate capacity to provide more profitable services (i.e. services for acute patients), Maui Memorial Medical Center will continue to need subsides to support wait-list patients at the higher cost of acute hospital care, versus the lower cost of nursing home care.”
The bill states that the problem will be exacerbated with the hospital transition to Kaiser, which will bring more physician capabilities to Maui, which in turn, “will allow more Maui residents to stay on island for acute care needs, increasing the demands for such services.”
According to the bill: “The legislature finds that the State currently provides $30 million per year in subsidy to Maui Memorial Medical Center to support healthcare for Maui residents. The legislature believes that one of the best opportunities to reduce the subsidy provided by the State is to facilitate a reduction in wait-listed patients at Maui Memorial Medical Center.”
According to the measure, a $2 million subsidy to allow Hale Makua to admit more wait-listed patients will yield a net savings to the state of $8.95 million per year.
The measure is scheduled for a hearing before the House Committee on Health today.