STAND. COM. REP. NO. 974
RE: S.B. No. 1285
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Ways and Means and Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 1285, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO MEDICAL FACILITIES,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to better bridge the cultural and language gaps between healthcare providers and Compact of Free Association (COFA) benefit recipients in the State.
More specifically, this measure requires any hospital that serves a community having more than five hundred COFA benefit recipients to:
(1) Establish and implement a program of diversity and inclusion training for all staff; and
(2) Hire interpreters and community healthcare workers as necessary to effectively communicate with, and provide culturally sensitive services to, the community.
Your Committees received written comments in support of this measure from the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission and two individuals.
The Queen's Health Systems, Kaiser Permanente, Healthcare Association of Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific Health, and Hale Makua-Wailuku submitted written comments on the measure.
Your Committees find that many COFA benefit recipients have experienced prejudice and discrimination in the healthcare system. Your Committees also find that investment in programs that bridge cultural and language gaps between healthcare providers and COFA benefit recipients, as required by this measure, will help to alleviate treatment disparities and the resulting financial burden on the State and revenue loss by medical facilities.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure; and
(2) Making technical nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Ways and Means and Judiciary that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1285, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1285, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Ways and Means and Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair
DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair