Revised application for W. Maui hospital filed


LAHAINA — Hospital developer Brian Hoyle said Tuesday that he has filed a revised application for a state certificate of need for a West Maui Hospital & Medical Center, complying with recommendations of the State Health Planning and Development Agency.

"We have tried very hard to demonstrate that the new hospital in West Maui meets all criteria identified by SHPDA as its basis for decision making," Hoyle said in his announcement, adding, "We truly appreciate SHPDA's willingness to provide guidance to assure that our application meets its requirements."

Hoyle is chairman of two California banks and is principal in Southwest Health Group, which invests in, develops and operates health care facilities. His family has been involved in real estate development in West Maui and has supported the efforts to develop a West Maui hospital since 1968, he said.

He joined the efforts of the West Maui Improvement Foundation to develop a West Maui hospital last year, to be operated by Southwest Health Group and financed by Newport Hospital Corp. Hoyle is the sole shareholder in Newport Hospital Corp.

The original certificate of need application was filed in February, but SHPDA responded with a request for additional data.

The plan is for a 25-bed acute-care hospital including emergency room services, with a 40-bed, skilled-nursing facility. Projected cost is $45.75 million. According to Hoyle's announcement, the facility is intended to complement Maui Memorial Medical Center by providing first-responder services for emergency care patients who may be stabilized and transferred to Maui Memorial or other hospitals for specialized care.

"This is an independent project developed in coordination with the West Maui Improvement Foundation and the West Maui Taxpayers Association, with involvement of no other organization," Hoyle said.
But he credited support from 1,500 individuals and businesses that provided $700,000 in donations to the planning effort, as well as Council Member Jo Anne Johnson, who pushed a zoning bill for the project, and West Maui legislators Rep. Angus McKelvey and Sen. Roz Baker.
Maui Memorial Chief Executive Officer Wes Lo said he was aware that the original application was deemed incomplete but said he has not discussed the revisions with Hoyle or the West Maui Improvement Foundation.

"I'm not familiar with this revised application," he said. "I'm anxious to have a look at their proposal."

He said he could not comment on whether the proposed facility would provide a benefit to Maui Memorial without reviewing the complete application.

Hoyle's announcement said the 40-bed, skilled-nursing facility is designed to accept long-term care patients who are held at Maui Memorial when there is no nursing facility able to accept them. The proposed skilled-nursing facility would be operated by Mission Health Services, a nonprofit healthcare service based in Utah.

Hoyle said he believes the long-term care facility would save Maui Memorial $6 million a year by reducing the number of patients held on a wait list for transfer. Reimbursements to the hospital are lower for long-term care patients, even when they occupy high-cost acute-care beds.

The West Maui acute-care facility would provide 19 medical-surgical beds and six critical-care beds, with six bays in the emergency room and three operating rooms.

It would help to reduce the overload at the Maui Memorial emergency room, Hoyle said, and would be a cost-effective facility providing emergency care, acute care and intensive care services for the West Maui community.

Baker, whose Senate district includes South Maui and West Maui, said she has supported a West Maui hospital since she first was elected to the state House in 1988.

"I've supported a hospital on the west side for a long time, because of the isolation," she said. "One thing that distinguishes this proposal from others is that it wants to be part of an overall health care system for Maui, working with Kaiser and with Maui Memorial and with everyone else.

"And it is trying to address the needs of the community with the long-term care component."

Kaanapali Development Corp. has already granted the West Maui Improvement Foundation a 14.5-acre site near the Lahaina Civic Center for the proposed hospital, which was zoned for hospital use in November.