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Lawmakers Advance Bill Allowing Hawaii Health Systems Corp. to Form Private Partnerships

The Hawaii House Finance Committee has unanimously passed a bill that would allow public-owned Hawaii Health Systems Corp., based in Honolulu, to partner with private healthcare providers, according to a Hawaii Tribune Herald report.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Josh Green (D-Kona), aims to open the door to the privatization of one or more of HHSC's regions to make care delivery more economically efficient, according to the report.

Last fall, HHSC received $7.3 million in emergency funds from state lawmakers to stabilize its hospitals. At the time, HHSC Acting President and CEO Alice Hall said the system may have to look into a private-public deal to keep the system viable.

Mr. Green's legislation seeks to protect HHSC employees by guaranteeing the private partner would honor existing contracts. The partner would also have to maintain all services HHSC hospitals currently provide. Additionally, the state legislature would have to approve any partnerships.

The Hawaii Government Employees Association has opposed the bill, despite its protective provisions. Randy Perreira, the organization's executive director, said in written testimony that the bill doesn't "sufficiently identify the long-term liabilities the state would face through provider subsidies," according to the report.

More Articles on Hospital Partnerships:
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