Hawaii medical center revived as it emerges from bankruptcy

Salim Hasham
Salim Hasham
Dr. Henry Louie
Dr. Henry Louie

By Teri Okita – bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – An Oahu hospital is finally taken off life-support . The Hawaii Medical Center has emerged from Chapter-11 bankruptcy after two long years, and hospital administrators say it's come out smaller, stronger, and more efficient.

HMC - which operates hospitals in Liliha and Ewa - went from a 'for'-profit to a non-profit facility in June. That helped them save on things like excise and property taxes, so they could begin to pay off debtors under bankruptcy requirements.

They've also streamlined some of their services and are now focusing more on specialities, like their transplant and liver centers. They plan to launch more partnerships with other medical centers and expand their services on West Oahu. HMC hopes it can eventually lure back some of the staff it lost during Chapter-11.

"Right now, the process is to reinvigorate the institution again, make sure that we build enough confidence that, I think, the physicians will come back," says HMC C-E-O Salim Hashem.

A collective of about 130-doctors from Hawaii Physicians Group bought HMC - formerly Saint Francis Hospitals - back in 2007. They now know it takes much more than a good bedside manner to run a hospital - and have a better understanding of hospital administration after enduring this bankruptcy.

Dr. Henry Louie, chairman of the Hawaii Physicians Group, adds, "The anxieties of the staff, in terms of the viability of this place. is now gone. So, the atmosphere of working here is much better and continues to be better."

Under the bankruptcy reorganization plan, HMC must pay Saint Francis healthcare system 46-million dollars over seven years. On Tuesday, HMC made its first payment of almost six-million dollars.

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