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HMC closes Liliha hospital


Hawaii Medical Center said today it has closed its Liliha campus, after transferring the last few patients to area hospitals and long-term care facilities late Wednesday.

"With the cessation of patient care, HMC will lay off a significant majority of its nearly 1,000 employees by this weekend," said Maria Kostylo, HMC’s CEO. "Today is a sad day for all of us at Hawaii Medical Center. We’ve been a part of the community for 85 years, first as St. Francis Medical Center and then as Hawaii Medical Center. Despite our many challenges in recent years, the employees of HMC never wavered in their commitment to provide quality care for patients."

Hawaii Medical Center’s Ewa hospital shut down last week after transferring the last of its patients to the Liliha campus. The hospital said it had a difficult time placing its last remaining patients with complex, chronic medical conditions that require long-term care, which is scarce in the community.

HMC’s administration and billing departments will remain open as the hospitals wind down business operations.

"It has been a day of long conversations and a great deal of work and compromise by hospitals, long-term care facilities and the state but at the end of the day providers stepped up even though in most cases their facilities are at capacity and their resources are stretched to make sure these patients have a place to land," said George Greene, president and CEO of Healthcare Association of Hawaii. 

HMC, which has been in bankruptcy since June, started shutting down after abandoning a plan to sell the hospitals to California-based Prime Healthcare Services.

St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii, HMC’s largest secured creditor, objected to the sale because the Catholic religious order would have been paid only about one-fourth of the nearly $40 million it is owed.

St. Francis Healthcare announced in late October it was pulling out of a bankruptcy reorganization plan that would have returned the facilities to the religious order.

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, composed 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 governed by a nine-member board of directors before filing its second bankruptcy in June.

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