HONOLULU (AP) - Private hospitals in Hawaii will lose federal funding that has helped offset costs of caring for Medicaid patients or those who are uninsured.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://bit.ly/LbM0K8 ) reported Tuesday Gov. Neil Abercrombie's administration will instead award most of the $10 million in federal money to help care for the poor at the state's public hospitals.

Previous Gov. Linda Lingle had been awarding most of the federal money for charity care to private hospitals.

State Department of Human Services Director Patricia McManaman says there's a need to support Hawaii's state hospital system, which provides services for the most vulnerable populations.

The public hospital system includes Maui Memorial Medical Center, Hilo Medical Center and Kona Community Hospital, which are critical to residents on the neighbor islands.

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