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Queen's might buy and reopen Hawaii Medical Center-West

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 06:01 p.m. HST, May 11, 2012

 2011 December 19 BSN - HMC Fresh Art - At the Hawaii Medical Center West, the sign at the front entrance has an additional sign that reads "Emergency Room CLOSED Effective December 19th 7:00am." HSA photo by Bruce Asato

The parent company of the Queen's Medical Center said today that it might purchase and reopen Hawaii Medical Center-West, which was closed late last year as part of a lengthy and contentious bankruptcy.

Queen's Health Systems officials said an agreement with St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii will enable Queen's to explore the feasibility of an acquisition. The Ewa facility, formerly known as St. Francis West, and Hawaii Medical Center in Liliha are being returned to St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii as part of the bankruptcy of the hospitals' owner, Hawaii Medical Center.

Both hospitals closed in December. HMC purchased the Ewa and Liliha campuses from St. Francis in 2007.

Queen's said it will perform due diligence to determine the feasibility of reopening the West Oahu facility as an acute care hospital, including a physical, environmental and regulatory review.

Both sides said in a news release that the agreement to begin negotiations is only a first step and further discussions will remain confidential.

"The Queen's Medical Center is very mindful of the importance of the West Oahu hospital campus to the people of that community," said Art Ushijima, President of Queen's Medical Center. "While we are excited about the possibility of reopening the hospital, it is important to underscore that this is only the first of many steps before a smooth, timely ownership transfer and reopening can be accomplished."

Jerry Correa, president and chief executive officer of St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii, said, "Meeting the health needs of the community remains our foremost concern.

"We are looking forward to working with Queen's to revitalize the West campus to continue the legacy of caring established by Saint Marianne Cope and the Sisters of St. Francis. We believe that Queen's is well positioned to provide quality acute health care to the Leeward community."

The Franciscan sisters sold the hospitals in January 2007 for $68 million to HMC LLC, then a for-profit joint venture between Hawaii Physician Group LLC, comprised of 130 local doctors, and Kansas-based Cardiovascular Hospitals of America. St. Francis provided the bulk of the financing for the sale, $40.2 million.

HMC first filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August 2008. It emerged in August 2010 and became a nonprofit organization before filing its second bankruptcy in June. HMC began closing the hospitals in December, laying off nearly 1,000 workers.

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kainalu wrote:
I hope!
on May 11,2012 | 10:41AM
olos73 wrote:
Good move QMC. We need a hospital on this side of the island.
on May 11,2012 | 11:51AM
hanoz808 wrote:
i hope so, & pls re name it QMC
on May 11,2012 | 11:56AM
Changalang wrote:
How's about ' QMC West ' ?
on May 11,2012 | 04:35PM
chief wrote:
If St. Francis cared about the West community, they wouldn't have closed in the first place. To them it was and is all about the mighty $$$$!!!
on May 11,2012 | 11:59AM
false wrote:
Not true. HMC bought the St.Francis West because HMC wanted to make big money as a "for profit" business. HMC was composed primarily of immigrant Filipino doctors and failed because of poor management.
on May 11,2012 | 01:18PM
Changalang wrote:
A Queen's acquisition will give the Westside facility a chance to be all that it could've under the measured guidance and proven wisdom of Art Ushijima's leadership team. It is hard to make excuses for failure; but much harder to argue with proven success. Soon, the Sisters can focus on taking care of their own people and know that their mission will move forward in partnership with Queen's own mission.
on May 11,2012 | 04:02PM
808Girl wrote:
Thanks, Changalang! Couldn't agree more!
on May 11,2012 | 10:13PM
jtamura69 wrote:
I agree HMC is just the scapegoat. If St. Francis really cared, they wouldn't have sold it to HMC in the first place.
on May 11,2012 | 09:12PM
Changalang wrote:
Honolulu is lucky to have a fiscally sound care provider like QMC that is willing to step up and invest in healthcare options that will benefit the people of the West; particularly at time when investing in healthcare is a gamble because of SCOTUS decisions pending on Obamacare. Queen's has done such an excellent job with the transplant program, that they are the organization most likely to succeed. Thanks to all engaged parties from gov't, judiciary, and providers to stepping up to a solution based outcome from public and private special interests.
on May 11,2012 | 03:58PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Great news for the Ewa Plains and West Oahu.
on May 11,2012 | 05:11PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
This is really the best possible outcome. But I am prepared to hear a request for mucho public financial support as tax credits, tax holidays and even perhaps some bond issues to help finance this deal. Hope Queens does not expect to gobble at the tax trough!
on May 11,2012 | 07:45PM
808Girl wrote:
Lucky such an amazing provider as Queens is willing to venture in to the West side. The administrators of HMC were terrible managers and providers. Even their former employees were shafted after the hospitals closed. Ask any of their former employees if they received leave payouts before the administrators took their severance pay. NOPE, because there was nothing left! Let's remember to focus on the real "bad guys" - not the Sisters of St. Francis who had no choice but to block the ridiculous offer from Prime Healthcare Services. St. Francis would have had it's own crisis because they couldn't pay off HMC's outrageous loans, Medicare fines, etc. without sacrificing its own line of NON-PROFIT services - hospice, home care, bath services for seniors, Lifeline, etc. Imagine, then, how many more people would've been affected. Thank you and good luck to QMC for their insight and direction!!
on May 11,2012 | 10:11PM
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