Kaiser Permanente Hawaii is temporarily postponing non-urgent surgeries and procedures and is closing seven clinics statewide to make sure it has the capacity and equipment to care for the most critically ill patients with COVID-19.
The state’s largest health maintenance organization — both a medical provider and insurer — said today it will reevaluate surgeries and procedures on an ongoing basis and patients whose surgeries or procedures are postponed or rescheduled will be contacted directly by Kaiser Permanente.
Kaiser, which has about 258,000 members, said the Kihei and Waimea clinics will be temporarily closed starting Monday and the Hawaii Kai, Kahuku, Kailua, Kapolei and Nanaikeola clinics will be temporarily closed effective Wednesday.
Physicians and staff from the closed facilities will be shifted to Kaiser’s larger medical offices. Patients with appointments at one of the temporarily closed clinics will be contacted.
The health provider said after-hours care at Moanalua Medical Center and Maui Lani Medical Office will remain open for normal hours. It also said the following medical facilities will continue serving members for in-person care and pharmacy needs: Honolulu, Hilo, Kona, Koolau (Kaneohe), Lahaina, Lihue, Mapunapuna, Moanalua Medical Center, Maui Lani, Wailuku and Waipio.
Kaiser said the consolidation of medical offices will allow it to redeploy physicians, staff and resources from its smaller clinics to its central medical offices to reduce unnecessary potential exposure for members and staff and conserve critical supplies.
The health provider also said it is expanding telehealth and virtual care by deploying enhanced technology to support an increased volume of phone and video visits so that people can stay home and still receive care. Kaiser also is encouraging use of its mail-order pharmacy services and said most prescriptions can be refilled online at kp.org/rxrefill.
Kaiser said members are encouraged to phone or email their doctor with any questions about their ongoing care needs.