STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2745
RE: S.B. No. 2617
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 2617 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EMERGENCY SERVICES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds to the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation to expand the Kau Rural Health Clinic to improve access to urgent care and outpatient behavioral health services.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation; Office of the Mayor for the County of Hawai‘i; United Public Workers, AFSCME, Local 646, AFL-CIO; Hilo Medical Center; Ka‘u Hospital; Hilo Medical Center Foundation; and four individuals.
Your Committee finds that the Ka‘u Hospital emergency department serves approximately three thousand patients per year. Almost one-third of the hospital's emergency department patients have medical issues that are non-emergent. However, due to limited access to primary care providers and the restricted hours of the Rural Health Clinic located within Ka‘u Hospital, patients turn to expensive emergency care as a last resort.
Your Committee further finds that expanding the Rural Health Clinic's space and hours of operation to include urgent care and behavioral health services would be a highly effective way to reduce costs and the need for emergency services, while increasing access to care.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2617 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair