HONOLULU – Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued an order allowing transition activities between the State and Kaiser to resume at Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital, and Lanai Community Hospital.
Two days ago, Governor David Ige and the United Public Workers (UPW) union filed a status report with the Court saying the parties are in the midst of productive conversations regarding a possible resolution of a lawsuit brought by the union in United Public Workers v. Ige. Governor Ige also asked the Court to let transition activities resume, and UPW did not oppose the Governor’s request.
Attorney General Doug Chin explained, “Allowing transition activities to resume is the best way to give everyone involved adequate time to prepare and minimize disruption in services. Governor Ige’s top priority is to protect patient care at the Maui region hospitals.”
In 2015, the state legislature passed a law ending the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation’s delivery of health care services at the three Maui facilities and transferring service delivery to a private operator. Earlier this year, the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation board and its regional board signed an agreement to transition the Maui hospitals to a new Kaiser entity, Maui Health Systems. UPW sued to stop the transition from taking place. On February 19, 2016, United States District Court Judge Helen Gillmor ruled in favor of the State, and UPW appealed to the 9th Circuit Court. On May 17, 2016, the 9th Circuit Court ordered the State to temporarily stop all activities related to the transition until September 30, 2016, unless sooner terminated by the Court.
“Today’s order documents the parties’ agreement that while negotiations continue, the State will not unilaterally change the status of UPW’s members affected by this transition, or close the transaction,” Chin said. “Other transition activities, however, may resume. Ultimately, we all just want an orderly and safe transition to Kaiser’s operation of the Maui region hospitals.”
The Court ordered another joint status report on June 30, 2016.
A copy of the Parties’ Joint Status Report dated June 15, 2016, and today’s order are attached.
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For more information, contact:
Joshua A. Wisch
Special Assistant to the Attorney General