Hawaii: Healthcare associations merge

Friday, February 20, 2015

HONOLULU – The Healthcare Association of Hawaii (HAH) joined forces with the Hawaii Long Term Care Association in January to create a single healthcare trade association for the state.

The move brings long-term care, hospital, home health/HME and hospice under one umbrella—not a common combination, acknowledges George Greene, HAH president and CEO.

“It is very rare and a lot of it has to do with the unique collaborative business atmosphere in Hawaii,” he said in an email to HME News. 

The unification of the two trade associations will give the industry a stronger voice when speaking out about crossover issues facing long-term care and home health/HME, says Greene. 

“Both segments of the healthcare industry are feeling increasing pressure by federal programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, to cut costs,” said Greene. “For both, national models aimed at cutting costs often do so without taking into account the much higher cost of doing business in Hawaii.”

HME providers needn’t worry that their specific issues will get lost, says Greene. Already this year, the HAH has drafted legislation requiring HME providers to have a local presence. In Round 2 of competitive bidding, multiple contracts were awarded to companies located thousands of miles away.

“HAH is very active nationally and at the state level about Medicare DMEPOS competitive bidding,” said Greene. “Not only does it impact local businesses, who are being asked to operate below costs, but it has had a profound effect on patient care and discharges from long-term care facilities and hospitals.”