- Associated Press - Thursday, September 24, 2015

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii Systems Corporation’s Maui Regional System Board has selected Kaiser Permanente Hawaii as the potential private partner for Maui County’s three public hospitals.

Kaiser will now begin negotiations with Gov. David Ige for the management, operations and provisions of health care services at Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital & Clinic and Lanai Community Hospital. Once negotiations are complete and a final agreement is approved, Kaiser will become the new operator.

Hawaii Pacific Health had also expressed interest in the partnership and state lawmakers had previously proposed allowing the company to take over, but Maui Regional System Board Chairman Avery Chumbley said Kaiser was a better fit.

“Kaiser Permanente provided us with its vision and strategy for improved health care in the Maui Region,” Chumbley told the Maui News (https://bit.ly/1NObb8a). “We felt Kaiser could best serve the needs of our community.”

Ige, who has been leading negotiations for the transition, signed a bill into law in June that cleared the way for a takeover of Maui County hospitals.

Hospital leaders have agreed that the transition to privatization will help improve health care in Maui and allow the hospital to aid in the process.

“We have a responsibility to meet the health care needs of our community, and we believe this transition provides us the greatest path forward to continue doing this,” Wesley Lo, CEO of HHSC Maui Region, told Hawaii News Now (https://bit.ly/1QA3zFE). “Act 103 was the culmination of years of hard work and dedication from our staff, physicians, past and current board members, and local leaders - our community will be better served thanks to their vision and determination.”

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