Business / In Brief • June 27, 2013

Hospital explores affiliation with Queen’s

KAULUA-KONA, Hawaii – A Big Island hospital and the parent company of an Oahu hospital have agreed to look into a formal affiliation.

West Hawaii Today reports North Hawaii Community Hospital on Tuesday signed a formal agreement with Queen’s Health Systems, the parent company of Queen’s Medical Center.

Queen’s under the agreement will conduct in-depth due diligence into physical and regulatory requirements needed before an affiliation could move forward, said Cedric Yamanaka, Queen’s Health Systems spokesman.

Confidentiality provisions in the agreement prohibit explaining what a formal affiliation would include, officials said. Details could be announced after the due diligence work is completed, Yamanaka said, a process that could last four months.


Water bills to be reviewed for adjustments

HONOLULU – The Honolulu Board of Water Supply is apologizing to customers who have had their bills estimated because of meter problems and staffing shortages.

The agency will be sending out letters to affected customers this week. In May, roughly 26,000 customers received estimated bills, KITV reported. In some cases, bills were incorrectly estimated for up to five months, said Board of Water Supply Chief Engineer Ernest Lau.

Underground battery-operated devices allow workers to read meters remotely. But failing batteries, compounded with staffing shortages, have forced the agency to turn to estimating water usage.

The department that reviews readings when they are too high or too low is short-staffed. Thousands of batteries in the devices that help workers read the meters were failing and needed to be replaced.