Categorized | Health

Committee hearing on public health system budget (Sept. 22)

MEDIA RELEASE

WHO: House Committee on Health

WHEN: 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, 2014

WHERE: Kona Community Hospital
Special Services Building, Conference Room 2
79-1019 Haukapila Street
Kealakekua, Hawaii 96750

WHAT: This meeting is part of a series of planned informational briefings and community-based public hearings by the Committee on Health related to the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, its Regional Boards, and their plans to streamline operations and address anticipated budget shortfalls.

This hearing will begin with an informational briefing by representatives of the West Hawaii Regional Board.

Invitees to the informational briefing portion of this hearing include:

1. Jay Kreuzer, CEO, HHSC West Hawaii Region
2. Dean Herzog, CFO, HHSC West Hawaii Region
3. Bill Cliff, Regional Board Chair, HHSC West Hawaii Region

For fiscal year 2014, the state run hospital system requested $150 million in financial assistance from the state and was appropriated $111.4 million.

The shortfall in funding has forced HHSC to begin cost cutting measures and re-evaluate its initiatives on all islands.

The system has implemented layoffs across the islands and cuts in one service area on the island of Maui.

The system and the regional boards continue to work on their plans and implementation of these plans to address the shortfall.

Informational briefings have been held on Oahu, Kauai, and in Hilo on Hawaii Island by the House Committee on Health. A future briefing is scheduled to be held on Maui.

“Our goal is to have public hearings across the system to understand the operational plans and impacts of the shortfalls within each region. Following these public hearings, we can come together in the 2015 legislative session to work towards finding solutions to address the financial challenges while continuing to provide the safety net services the system is supposed to provide,” said House Health Committee Chair Rep. Della Au Belatti (D, Moiliili-Makiki-Tantalus).

“There is the recognition that HHSC is a statewide safety net system, especially for rural communities and the neighbor islands,” Belatti said. “We need to understand what the true costs are and then have the political will to sustain these services going forward and/or find partnerships that will allow for access to these services by all of our residents.”

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