Behind The Ballooning Medical E-Records Cost

Gina Mangieri | KHON2 | February 10, 2014

A system that’s supposed to revolutionize health care in Hawaii is costing the state’s taxpayer-supported hospitals more than double the originally projected cost at the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation — the quasipublic agency that runs the state’s primarily rural hospitals.

“We’re always at the legislature trying to find more money for our safety-net hospital system, said Randy Perreira, executive director HGEA, the state’s largest public worker’s union. “But at the same time it seems there’s a faucet running somewhere else that nobody’s trying to address.”

The faucet this time is the conversion to electronic medical records — a requirement of the federal Affordable Care Act that’s proving anything but affordable for HHSC.

“Our original cost was in the $50 million range,” HHSC’s West Regional CEO Jay Kreuzer said. “It’s now $109 million.”

That’s $109 million over five years to covert HHSC hospitals to the system primarily Siemens was contracted to roll out.