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Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Full Text: Unanimous Conference Committee Approves Maui Hospital Partnership Bill
By News Release @ 11:21 PM :: 9062 Views :: Health Care, Labor

PDF: HD1075CD1 -- As Approved by Conference Committee

4/28/2015 H -- The Conference Committee recommends that the measure be Passed, with Amendments. The votes were as follows: 5 Ayes: Representative(s) Belatti, Nakashima, Luke, Yamashita, Thielen; Ayes with reservations: none; 0 Noes: none; and 0 Excused: none.

4/28/2015 S -- The Conference committee recommends that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes of the Senate Conference Managers were as follows: 4 Aye(s): Senator(s) Green, Baker, Keith-Agaran, Tokuda; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 0 No(es): none; and 1 Excused: Senator(s) Slom.

4/29/2015 H -- Reported from Conference Committee (Conf Com. Rep. No. 8) as amended in (CD 1).

4/29/2015 H -- Forty-eight (48) hours notice Friday, 05-01-15.

MN: House-Senate conferees pass Maui hospital privatization bill

HNN: Bill paves way for public-private partnership at Maui Region hospitals

KHON: State lawmakers reach a deal to help Maui region medical centers

KITV: Historic bill to allow for the sale of Maui Memorial clears conference committee

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News Release from House of Representatives April 27, 2015

WHO: Conference Committee on HB1075

House Conferees:  Representatives Belatti/Nakashima/Luke, Co-Chairs; Yamashita, Thielen

Senate Conferees:  Senators Green, Chair; Baker/Keith-Agaran/Tokuda, Co-Chairs; Slom

WHAT:  The House and Senate will begin Conference Committee meetings onHB1075, which   authorizes the Maui Regional System of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) to enter into an agreement with a private entity to transition one or more of its facilities into a new private, nonprofit corporation.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Room 229, Hawaii State Capitol

HB1075: Text, Status

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Details of Ige’s Maui Memorial public-private partnership measure

Maui News April 28, 2015: A draft proposal for a public-private partnership for Maui Memorial Medical Center and the Kula and Lanai Community hospitals - to be considered this afternoon by a state House-Senate conference committee - doesn't have obvious "deal breakers" but offers some concerns, said the Hawaii Health Systems Corp. Maui Region chief executive officer....

"I don't know if there are deal breakers," Lo said Monday evening from Honolulu.

There are some changes that may affect efforts already in place to establish a public-private partnership, he added. Hawaii Pacific Health, which runs Kapi'olani Medical Center For Women & Children and Straub Clinic & Hospital on Oahu, has emerged as the Maui Region's main suitor.

One change would require the HHSC Maui Region to publish a notice/invitation to submit proposals for the public-private partnership, a "re-do" of earlier efforts, though material/information from previous solicitations may be considered, the revised bill said.

The private company would have to "submit statements of interest in acquiring the right and responsibility to manage, operate and otherwise provide health care services in one or more of the Maui regional system's facilities," the revised bill states....

Another provision changes the role of the governor in the process from one who approves an arrangement to one who may "direct negotiations" for the public-private partnership with the assistance of the CEOs of HHSC and its Maui Region. The goal is to "protect and further the state's interest in controlling the levels of financial support of HHSC operations, utilizing MRS (Maui Region System) facilities more cost-effectively and maintaining current levels of access to health care services on Maui as much as possible," the revised bill says.

Lo said he does not have a problem with the governor being involved in the process so long as representatives of the health care and Maui communities are included as well. He said, "I think we have an understanding with the Governor's Office" but emphasized that the roles need to clear.

The revised bill also returned a provision, stripped out by the Senate, that required a private partner to offer existing employees work for at least ___ months. (Yes, they did leave this blank in the MN story.)

"I don't see any issue with that," Lo said, adding that he believes it is a redundant provision already covered by other statutes.

Lo said he was spending time before today's conference committee hearing running the measure past stakeholders and lawmakers to make sure there are no "unintended consequences . . . so we have the same understanding."

While a source close to the process Monday indicated that the measure, which likely would have passed the House last week, is losing supporters, Lo was optimistic.

"I think we got a chance here," said Lo, who has, in the past, called passage a 50-50 proposition. "There is some hope this might go through."

He said "there certainly is a lot of pressure on legislators," including from those opposing the bill. Support for the bill by Maui County lawmakers has been rousing but lawmakers elsewhere face different motivations, constituencies and politics, Lo said.

"We have done our best," he said. "It will be a tight vote."

HB1075: Text, Status

read ... Hospital Reform

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News Release from Office of the Governor, April 21, 2015

Honolulu- Governor David Ige announced today that the House and Senate have agreed to his request to take to conference HB 1075, SD2 on Maui healthcare reform.

“We are committed to moving a bill forward that provides us with the best opportunity for a public/private partnership and healthcare reform on Maui,” said Governor Ige.   “We agree that we need to move forward on a public/private partnership in order to move our hospitals forward.  There are some technical issues that we’ve agreed to work on together, to come up with a bill that will best serve the people of Hawai’i.”

Through this measure, the legislature, in collaboration with the administration, seeks to establish the necessary legal and financing framework for a successful public/private partnership for health care facilities within the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation.

“I’m pleased that the governor is involved and will be taking a leadership role in the transition of moving Maui Hospital from government to a private, non-profit entity.  I think it is important to work with the administration and with the House and the Senate and other major stakeholders on resolving this very important healthcare issue for all of our citizens,” said House Speaker Joe Souki.

“We want to assure the public that we are all on the same page, that we are working together to come up with a good bill that we can all be proud of,” said Senate President Donna Mercado Kim.


What does this mean?  HB1075,SD2 was headed for a straight vote in the House, thus bypassing conference committee, the locus of HGEA shenanigans.  Will Ige, Kim and Souki use the conference committee to improve the bill, or sabotage it? 

UPDATE April 22, 2015:

On 4/20/2015 Senate conferees were appointed: Green Chair; Baker, Keith-Agaran, Tokuda Co-Chairs; Slom.

House has not named conferees and is deferring one day at a time. 

The implied message is that there will be an agreement between the Governor, the House leadership and the Senate leadership shortly or the House will vote on the HB1075 SD2 version already approved by the Senate in which case it will proceed directly to the Governor's desk.

Here are some differing opinions:


News Release from Hawaii Republican Party

HONOLULU (April 22, 2012) - Pat Saiki, State Chair of the Republican Party of Hawaii, and Dr. George Powell, Chair of the Republican Party of Maui County, released the following joint-statement after Governor David Ige delays legislative approval of a public-private partnership bill for Maui Memorial Medical Center and Hawaii Pacific Health.

"The health and safety of over 160,000 Maui County residents and 2 million annual visitors is in limbo due to the indecisiveness and failed leadership of Governor Ige and the Democrat super-majority. The hospital is a prime example of how another government bureaucracy fails to address the needs of the people it was created to serve - patients and their families.

This is not a unique problem of today. It has been festering throughout our public hospital system for decades without a viable administrative or legislative solution. It is time for Governor Ige and his Democrat colleagues to put aside their union loyalty, and accept the fact that the public-private partnership will result in better quality care for the people of Maui County for generations to come."

  *   *   *   *   *

Hospital measure still waiting for action from Ige

Maui News April 25, 2015: House Speaker Joe Souki said Friday afternoon that he was "very confident" a version of the much-debated, public-private partnership bill for Maui Memorial Medical Center and the Kula and Lanai Community hospitals would be passed by the state Legislature.

But it remained unclear exactly what provisions Gov. David Ige wants in the bill and when he'd provide his recommendations to lawmakers.

On Tuesday, the governor intervened as the Senate's version of the bill was headed to the House floor, instead of a conference committee. If the House had approved the Senate's draft of House Bill 1079, then it would have headed to Ige for his signature or veto.

Ige's intervention brought a stop to the bill's progress in the House, but Souki (Wailuku, Waikapu, Waihee, Waiehu, Kahakuloa and Puuohala) pointed out that he could, at any time, agree with the Senate version and send it to the House for a vote.

In the meantime, Souki said he was waiting for the governor to send down a bill that would be acceptable to the House and the Senate. If the governor's work on the bill "strengthens our position, as the governor stated, then I will accept it," he said.

It was still possible that, after Ige submits a bill, it would need to go before a conference committee. Maui Sens. Roz Baker (West and South Maui) and Gil Keith-Agaran (Kahului, Waihee and Wailuku) have already been named as Senate conferees for the bill. The House has not yet named conferees....

Baker said she told a representative of the governor Friday: "The clock is ticking. We should have been given something today."

She would have appreciated it if the governor had inserted himself in the process for the bill earlier.

"We appreciate his support," she said. "But we have our deadlines and timetables, too." ....

Souki said the bill would allow an entity, such as Kaiser, to be considered as Maui's private partner. "It was never intended to preclude anybody," he said....

MN: Attend the HHSC meeting

read ... Still Waiting

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Machida: Competitive Bidding Necessary?

Star-Adv April 22, 2015: Ige’s director of budget and finance, Wesley Machida, has suggested there be further discussions with lawmakers on a number of issues, including whether the state might be legally obligated to go through a competitive selection proc­ess to determine who should take control of the hospitals and operate them.

HGEA, meanwhile, has expressed alarm that the hospital workers lack any job protections, especially after language was removed from the bill that would have prohibited Hawaii Pacific Health from laying off workers for six months....

House lawmakers deferred action on HB 1075 for one day Tuesday, and House Demo­cratic Majority Leader Scott Saiki said lawmakers plan to continue to defer the bill on a day-to-day basis. In effect, that means the House can still approve the measure at any time if discussions stall on the hospital privatization effort.

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Maui News: Ige has concerns about hospital bill

Gov. David Ige on Tuesday asked House and Senate leaders to take a bill to allow privatization of Maui Memorial Medical Center into a legislative conference committee instead of having it approved in a House vote that was set Tuesday.

A bill to allow a public-private partnership was approved by the House and then approved by the Senate with amendments. The amended bill was sent back to the House, which appeared to be on the verge of taking a vote which could have approved the measure and sent it to the governor for his signature.

At a news conference in executive chambers Tuesday morning, Ige said that although the House was prepared to agree with the Senate on its draft of the bill, "I personally had some concerns."

When asked what those concerns were, Ige replied: "I don't think we want to get into those explicit details."

Ige later said that he was not contacted by labor unions, which staunchly opposes the bill. He said that he had not contacted the labor union nor the nonprofit Hawaii Pacific Health, which appears to be the likely private partner in the arrangement that covers Maui Memorial and Kula and Lanai Community hospitals....

House Speaker Joe Souki, whose district includes Wailuku where the hospital is located, called Ige's request positive.

"This is not an intervention. This is a partnership," Souki said at the news conference.

He added that he is pleased with Ige's leadership and that all parties will work together to come up with a bill "that is going to be satisfactory for the most part."

  *   *   *   *   *

MTV News: Governor Shocks Mayor With Abrupt Mind Change Over Hospital

“I don’t know what Governor Ige’s concerns are about the hospital bill,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa. “We are trying to find out but I don’t want to speculate because we just don’t know.” ...

Arakawa continued, “What I do know is that HB 1075 is critical for Maui County residents because if it passes it will form a public-private partnership between Maui Memorial Medical Center and Hawaii Pacific Health to help deal with staggering fiscal losses of more than $800 million over the next 10 years.

“For several years myself, our Maui legislators and other members of our community have been lobbying the state to do something about this fiscal shortfall. The time has come for the state to either put in the money to keep Maui Memorial running, or to allow another entity to take over operations.

“For those of us who live in Maui County, there really isn’t anything more important than making sure we have quality health care for our friends and families. The challenges facing Maui Memorial can affect hospital staff, doctors, medical programs, equipment and procedures if the shortfall is not addressed. Maui Memorial is our only major hospital, and this bill is the best chance we have to keep it up and running,” the mayor concluded.

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KHON: Governor intervenes in private partnership plans for state medical centers

Hawaii Government Employees Association executive director Randy Perreira released the following statement:

Hawaii Government Employees Association continues to have concerns about H.B. 1075 which allows privatization of the state’s safety net hospital system and currently targets the Maui Region. Our concerns remain the same as when this legislation was first introduced this session. HGEA believes it is bad public policy to privatize the state’s safety net hospital system. We continue to call for financial and management audits to improve the system from within. We are deeply concerned about what will happen to the approximately 900 HGEA nurses and other staff who work in the Maui region along with several hundred other public workers if the system is turned over to a private operator. The private operator has not listed any specific details of which services will be increased under its management, which is one of the main arguments for going private.

PBN: Hawaii lawmakers, governor join to push Maui hospital privatization bill forward

CB: Gov. Ige: Not So Fast on Allowing Privatization of Maui Hospitals


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