Developer Brian Hoyle an Inspiration

The Maui News

The Maui Chamber of Commerce Wednesday heard an experienced small-hospital developer very much on top of his game. Brian Hoyle stopped by The Maui News Tuesday to explain his plans for a rural, critical-access hospital.

The engaging hospital developer from Newport Beach, Calif., said the 25-bed hospital planned for West Maui is being designed to meet state and federal requirements for operating and funding. "Follow the reimbursement," he said. As the state's first rural, critical-access hospital, it will be in line for 101 percent cost reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid.

Hoyle explained the rural, critical-access designation was put into law in order to encourage the establishment of feeder, or satellite, hospitals in far-flung rural areas of the United States. In the case of Lahaina, it qualifies because it is separated from the regional hospital, Maui Memorial Medical Center, by a single, two-lane road - Honoapiilani - that is vulnerable to being closed. The size of the hospital was also carefully chosen. Hoyle said 25 beds is the limit for the financially essential rural, critical-access designation.

Hoyle has developed other rural, critical-access hospitals in Oklahoma and Arizona. In addition to his experience and obvious erudition, Hoyle's dedication to making the hospital "a consensus project" for the community was impressive. He had nothing but good things to say about Maui Memorial and, surprisingly, the often-criticized State Health and Development Agency, which must approve the hospital by issuing a certificate of need.

Hoyle said the $25,000 CON application is, in reality, "a business plan" that must consider the entire island, and the SHPDA staff has been cooperative and helpful in developing the plan.

The West Maui Improvement Foundation and its president, Joe Pluta, have been working on getting a hospital to serve the Lahaina-Kapalua area for a decade. It was fortunate the effort now includes Hoyle, a man who puts his ducks in a row and is determined to make his latest development a success. "I've never failed," he said convincingly.