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Big Island hospital says it needs partner

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KAMUELA » A hospital on the north side of the Big Island needs a partner to help it meet new requirements from Medicare and insurance companies, its chairman said.

West Hawaii Today reported today that Chairman Bob Momsen of North Hawaii Community Hospital says the hospital needs to bolster its management, information technology system and financial stability.

Momsen says that led it to consider a formal affiliation with The Queen’s Medical Center. The hospital in Kamuela also considered partnerships with the Hawaii Health Systems Corp. and Banner Health. But Momsen says Queen’s is the best fit.

Momsen spoke Thursday at a town meeting in Waimea.

The affiliation would give Queen’s the responsibility for appointing the hospital’s board, he said. Queen’s would own the hospital.

"Their mission and our mission are virtually the same," he said.

Momsen said the hospital’s finances have improved but employees are still concerned about payroll.

The hospital is hoping to make a final determination on whether a partnership will happen by the end of this year. It is also seeking a new permanent chief executive.

Momsen said Queen’s wants to make sure they can meet the needs of the community before agreeing to a partnership. Momsen said the hospital planned to have more community meetings before finalizing a deal.

"The concern that Queen’s has and the reason we can’t do the deal today: They don’t think they know yet what you want," Momsen said.

Queen’s is the largest private hospital in Hawaii, located in downtown Honolulu. It was founded in 1859 by Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV.

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