Monday, October 8, 2001

Kaiser plans $200
million expansion

Hawaii's largest HMO says it will
build new clinics and upgrade
others over the next 5 years

By Lyn Danninger

Kaiser Permanente, the state's largest health maintenance organization, said today it will spend $200 million over the next five years on a series of new construction projects.

Plans include the construction of new clinics and expansion of existing facilities on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.

By far the biggest project will be the renovation and expansion of Kaiser's Moanalua Medical Center. The cost of design and construction for that project will likely run around $115 million, Kaiser officials said.

Other projects planned on Oahu include expansion of Kaiser's Koolau Clinic in Kaneohe and construction of a new clinic on 5.8 acres Kaiser recently purchased at Waipio. The plans call for spending $32 million to build the clinic.

Kaiser also plans to expand its presence in downtown Honolulu with the construction of an additional facility near its current Honolulu Clinic at the corner of South King and Pensacola streets. The clinic, estimated to cost around $20 million, will be completed in 2006.

Several new projects are planned on the neighbor islands, including a new clinic for central Maui and expansion of existing clinic facilities in Lahaina and Kihei.

On the Big Island, Kaiser plans to replace its current Kona clinic with a larger facility at a cost of around $5 million. The organization hopes to complete construction in 2004.

With the addition of nearly 40,000 members in the past 10 years, Kaiser spokeswoman Jan Kagehiro said the plan is to accommodate the organization's growing membership at a series of "hub" clinics in every major sector of Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.

New clinics, such as that at Waipio will allow the organization to offer a wider variety of specialized services closer to where people live in Leeward and Central Oahu.

For example, plans call for including a CT scanner at that site, Kagehiro said.

Currently, members needing such a service need to travel to Kaiser's Moanalua hospital facility.

Before beginning construction, Kaiser will need the OK from the state Health Planning and Development Agency. Permission could likely be obtained within the next few months, and Kaiser expects construction to begin in 2003.

Kaiser operates 17 outpatient clinics statewide serving 225,000 members.

The organization employees 325 physicians and has 4,000 employees.

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