Friday, August 15, 2008

HHSC briefings continue in Hilo

Here's the story from the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Some highlights:

Robert Irvine is an orthopedic surgeon and chairman of the recently formed East Hawaii Regional Board of HHSC. He said that East Hawaii residents face a critical physician shortage and it could get worse. There is immediate need for financial support from the state.

Tom Driskill, President and CEO of HHSC, focused on the labor component. He was supported by Ron Schurra, CEO of the East Hawaii Region, who asked if the state could help with paying accounts receivable debts, state public worker benefits, and previous collective bargaining agreements. In addition, they want the flexibility to negotiate a separate collective bargaining agreement.

Rep. Robert Herkes (District 5 - Puna, Kau, North Kona, South Kona) was frustrated by the lack of financial information provided by HHSC. He indicated that the legislature can't make hard choices without knowing what the choices are, and while flipping through the testimony, said "I don't see a single number in here."

Sen. Rosalyn Baker (District 5 - South and West Maui, Kapalua, Kaanapali, Lahaina, Maalaea, Kihei, Makena, Wailea) questioned HHSC's effort to collect accounts payable.

Money (can that really be his/her name?) Atwal, HHSC Chief Financial Officer said they have now hired a medical records director and is currently doing in-house training.

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