Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Maui hospital cuts
longtime radiology pact

By Lyn Danninger

After at least 15 years of providing x-ray services for Maui Memorial Medical Center, Maui Radiology Consultants' contract with the hospital ends June 30.

Maui Radiology notified the state Department of Labor yesterday that it will lay off 14 of its 70 workers effective Aug. 19.

With the termination of the contract, under which Maui Radiology supplied both equipment and employees, Maui Memorial will purchase the group's radiology equipment in use at the hospital and is in the process of hiring the workers affected by the change, said Tom Driskill, chief executive officer of Hawaii Health Systems Corp., the entity that runs the state hospitals.

Driskill said the hospital had created equivalent positions within its system for the employees, mostly radiology technicians and clerical employees. HHSC is also in the process of negotiating a new contract with Maui Radiology's physicians to provide professional services to the hospital.

A similar arrangement for the purchase of radiology equipment and hiring of personnel is also being worked out at Hilo Medical Center with Hawaii Radiology Services, the company providing services there, he said.

Driskill said the contract arrangements with both groups were originally put in place at a time when the hospital system could not afford to keep up with the cost of rapidly changing technology. But with cost-cutting moves and efforts to streamline the system moving forward successfully, Driskill said it is now more cost effective for the system to take back control of those services.

Representatives of Maui Radiology Consultants were unavailable for comment.

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