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Kona Hospital to cut 34 jobs, close skilled nursing unit

  • HAWAII HEALTH SYSTEMS CORP.
    Kona Community Hospital’s new facility could be double the size of the 94-bed facility in Kealakekua.
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Kona Community Hospital said Monday it will cut 34 positions by Aug.1 and shut down its 18-bed skilled nursing unit.

“It is with deep regret that we must make these decisions,” said Jay Kreuzer, West Hawaii Regional CEO of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, in a news release.

The 18-bed skilled nursing unit has only six patients on average and skilled nursing services can be provided by other facilities nearby, hospital officials said.

The skilled nursing beds are not being de-licensed, and could potentially be reopened at some time in the future, the officials said.

The reductions are part of the system wide cuts being made by the state-supported hospitals intended to address a $50 million projected deficit for fiscal year 2016.

Kona Community Hospital is a 94-bed full-service acute care hospital and is a member of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, which the state established in 1996.

Kona hospital officials said the closure of the skilled nursing unit was due to “a $6 million budget shortfall created in part by increased costs of collective bargaining and retiree health benefits, which in the past years were paid by the state. This year, the state opted not to fund these expenses.”

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