The world of health care is an expensive, complex sphere in our society.
Governments and insurance companies talk annually about reining in expenses by cutting reimbursements to doctors and hospitals. Both President Barack Obama and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan have presented plans that would cut Medicare reimbursements by some $715 billion over the next decade.
And caught right in the middle of the threat of lower reimbursements, but also demand for more and better treatments and services, are hospitals like Maui Memorial Medical Center.
Last week, it was announced that the hospital board and administration were exploring a possible public-private partnership with a large nonprofit corporation, Banner Health. Banner operates some 26 hospitals in the western United States, ranging from Arizona and California to Alaska.
Wesley Lo, chief executive officer of MMMC, was quoted in a Maui News story on the talks as saying such a partnership might help the hospital be "more cost efficient" and "take advantage of economies of scale." Indeed, larger companies who purchase larger quantities often receive massive price breaks from suppliers.
Maui Memorial has made impressive strides in the last decade, including the cardiac care center, the new tower and the incredible transformation of the emergency room. Now - even though all change can be scary - the news that MMMC is exploring ways it can reconfigure itself to deal with the economic realities of 21st century health care should be a comfort to the community.
The intention obviously is to make sure the hospital continues to grow and thrive.
While it was emphasized that talks with Banner are in a very preliminary stage, we applaud the board and the administration for exploring every option to strengthen the hospital.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.