Leaders Urge Community Action on Healthcare Cost Crisis

November 3, 2016

On October 28, 2016 a panel of East Hawaii business and healthcare leaders implored our community to recognize the urgency of the healthcare cost crisis facing our community, state, and nation.


Like a hidden, malignant disease healthcare costs have been growing at an incredible rate without us noticing. If grocery prices rose at the rate of medical costs since the 1930's a pound of bacon would cost $130!


Hilo Medical Center is looking at methods to manage the most chronic users of their emergency department, including relocating the medical residency clinic next to the ER. The cost for patients who see a primary care physician at the clinic would be about $600 less than an ER visit. Some of these patients are seen multiple times per month.


Private physicians are trying to create "accountable medical homes" to help manage patient's overall health, not just treat diseases.


Panelists included: Barry Taniguchi, CEO, KTA Superstores; Gordon Ito, Hawaii State Insurance Commissioner; Dan Brinkman, CEO, Hilo Medical Center; Dr. Richard Lee-Ching, Director Emeritus, East Hawaii Independent Physician's Association; and Mike Sayama, PhD, Executive Director, Community First. 


Employers are encouraged to attend a pau hana event on November 9, 2016 at Imiloa Astronomy Center from 5:30p - 7:00p. Harold Miller, CEO, Center for Health Care Quality and Payment Reform will host a discussion on what steps employers can take to affect healthcare costs in our community. Heavy pupus and cash bar. Space is limited. To RSVP contact Tony Kent (akent@ponocorp.com or 808-464-2800).

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