The Maui Region of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation recently announced its plans to partner with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii to operate Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital.
Kaiser Permanente has said it is committed to keeping the Maui hospital network open to the entire community. This means Lanai residents will continue to receive care at Lanai Community Hospital regardless of their insurance.
“We will take care of everybody with the highest world-class care. It will not matter who your doctor is or who your insurer is, we want to take care of you,” said Dr. David Ulin, physician-in-charge of Kaiser Permanente Maui clinics, as reported by Maui News.
Next Steps for Kaiser and Maui Region Board
“This will be an open community hospital,” said Avery Chumbley, Maui Region board chair, in an interview with Pacific Business News. “We as the regional board realize this as Maui Memorial Hospital supported by Kaiser, not a Kaiser Maui Memorial Hospital. It’s going to be open to all payers — Hawaii Medical Service Association, UHA, UnitedHealthcare, AlohaCare — anyone will be able to continue to go to this community hospital for care, even for uncompensated care.”
The next step will include Kaiser entering into negotiations with Gov. David Ige’s administration to officially become the new operator of the hospitals, including Lanai Community Hospital. If Kaiser and HHCS are able to come to mutually agreeable terms, there should be no disruptions of care for the Lanai community. In fact, Kaiser has committed to an open system on Lanai.
In an open system in the Lanai community, patients who are not insured by Kaiser can be seen at the Lanai Community Hospital. Additionally, because Kaiser and Rainbow Pharmacy Lanai have entered into an agreement, Kaiser patients can get their prescriptions filled at the drugstore’s new location on Dole Square.
Kaiser has a long history of partnering with the Maui community, collaborating with affiliate providers and working side by side with private practice and hospital physicians in Maui County for the past 46 years.