New proposal submitted for second Maui hospital
WAILUKU, Maui » Two mainland developers have plans to build a new acute-care hospital in West Maui.
Their move comes two months after the State Health Planning and Development Agency denied Malulani Health Systems' application to build a new hospital in Kihei. Malulani has appealed the decision.
Malulani and its supporters argue Maui's growing population needs an alternative to the island's sole acute care facility, the state-subsidized Maui Memorial Hospital.
InnoVative Capital LLC and Ameris Health Systems LLC announced their plans last week with state Sen. Roz Baker, who represents South and West Maui.
Maui Memorial issued an initial statement of support for the plan, which calls for 25 to 40 acute-care beds and about 40 long-term-care beds.
Organizers haven't selected a site for the proposed hospital, but options include a 15-acre lot near the Lahaina Civic Center and another parcel a couple of miles away.
The facility would offer a mix of services based on the needs of West Maui and the availability of doctors and other medical staff. It would also offer care best delivered at a small community hospital without duplicating services already offered at Maui Memorial.
InnoVative Capital and Ameris officials plan to visit Maui next month for meetings with Maui Memorial, Kaiser Permanente and other local health care providers.
Alan Richman, InnoVative Capital president, said he hopes to file a certificate of need application to state authorities by late February.
He added InnoVative would work together with Maui Memorial. "I would like to believe we're going to become good friends," Richman said of Maui Memorial.
In contrast, Malulani and Maui Memorial have had an often adversarial relationship. The two sides met to discuss ways to cooperate, but were unsuccessful. Maui Memorial testified against Malulani's plan at state advisory board hearings.
The State Health Planning and Development Agency is expected to hold a hearing early next year on Malulani's appeal.
The agency, in rejecting Malulani's application, said the proposed hospital would duplicate services already provided by Maui Memorial, increasing costs for the people of Maui while diluting the quality of care.
Malulani critics have also argued Kihei was the wrong place to build a new hospital because the island's population is growing most rapidly in West Maui not in South Maui.