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Maui hospital faces funding reduction for poor ratings

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Maui Memorial Medical Center in Wailuku. (Star-Advertiser file)

MAUI » The head of the Maui Memorial Medical Center says the hospital expects to lose about $600,000 in Medicare funding in the current federal fiscal year after it scored poorly on an Affordable Care Act performance measuring program.

The Maui facility will lose 1 percent of reimbursements it receives directly from Medicare in the rating program covering hospital infections and other ailments, The Maui News reported.

Wes Lo, CEO of the Hawaii Health System Corp.’s Maui Region, said Tuesday hospital officials are still working to determine exactly how much they will lose. Based on last year, Maui Memorial received $62 million in reimbursements from Medicare, putting a 1 percent reduction at about $600,000.

“It’s a bummer; we are not happy,” Lo said. “We need to provide the appropriate resources for them… . to support the doctors and nurses better.”

The rating program scored hospitals on several categories, including patient safety indicators, central-line associated bloodstream infections, catheter associated urinary tract infections and surgical-site infections. The reporting periods differed with the category, but in total covered July 2012 to December 2014.

Maui Memorial scored near the bottom in all categories but the central-line-associated bloodstream infections category, which was in line with the national average.

Lo said that not all of the low scores Maui Memorial received were related to care. Hospital officials in their review also noted problems with coding and physician documentation.

In the ranking, Maui Memorial’s Hospital-Acquired Condition score fell in the bottom quarter of hospitals receiving Medicare payments nationwide and was the lowest-rated hospital in the state. Hospitals in the bottom 25 percent were subject to payment reductions.

Hospital officials attribute some of the low scores to the hospital’s switch to electronic filing in March 2014. Lo said making the change to electronic filing was needed, as well as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, but “we knew we would suffer quality.”

Lo said the hospital is working to make improvements. It has implemented a clinical documentation improvement program, a new catheter insertion checklist, new types of catheters and new protocols, he said.

Despite the estimated cut to Medicare funding, the hospital recently received notification of an additional $1 million in reimbursements for rural hospitals due to reporting errors, Lo said.

“Overall (losing) $600,000 is a bummer,” said Lo. “On the other hand, we have some gains, and we are performing above budget and we are getting this other $1 million.”

114 responses to “Maui hospital faces funding reduction for poor ratings”

  1. Sidhe says:

    These are different excuses that Wes Lo testifying to legislature for the privatization of Maui Memorial by Kaiser. The governor and legislature bought his excuses that it was the collective bargaining contracts that were the primary cause of the Maui Memorial’s financial problems.

    It seems that Wes Lo is the central problem as administrator and am hoping he receives nothing when Kaiser acquires control, although it is consistent that h will receive a great new job or alarming severance package for all his great work

  2. awahana says:

    A blessing in disguise for Hawaii Pacific Health that Kaiser is to take it over.

  3. bluhawaii74 says:

    Any CEO who uses word “bummer” is clearly not qualified to be a CEO.

  4. localguy says:

    Clearly Wes Lo, CEO of the Hawaii Health System Corp.’s Maui Region, and all those bureaucrats in charge of the hospital are directly responsible for this failure to meet standards. As punishment for their willful failure to do their jobs, none should receive any pay raise or bonus this year or next year.

    Beyond this, perhaps there should be some firings or reductions in pay. Either you do your dob or you do not. Accept responsibility for your willful failure.

  5. KB says:

    how easy ..what or where were the low scores..check into it and report …do not leave it as that…we are adding to un accountability

  6. localcitizen says:

    So, this huge mess is really blamed on their Tech Services?!? “Hospital officials attribute some of the low scores to the hospital’s switch to electronic filing in March 2014. ”
    uh, and who was it that spent a massive amount on this tech service?
    an amount so big- that it was beyond ridiculous!
    and other hospitals all did some similar tech upgrades – why weren’t they also somehow suffering like MMMC is

    I’d find anywhere else to go but inside this hospital WOW
    I bet Kaiser is re considering not only hiring W Lo, but if they can afford this big of a mess…

  7. HealthyandHappy says:

    Wes Lo prevented a private 600 million dollar hospital from opening up on Maui. All the Democrat politicians denied the new hospital a CON “certificate of need”. This privatization talk has been going on for years. The reality now is that after Kaiser takes over they can give Wes a 10 or 20 million dollar bonus for improving the hospital statistics that eroded under his “leadership”. It is kind of a smoke and mirror payoff for bankrupting the system on purpose to get the people to back privatization. The people of Hawaii continue to get raped by the Democrat Party.

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