October 18, 2006
HMSA announces $50 million initiative to transform patient care
Steve Van Ribbink
Steve Van Ribbink@hmsa.com
The Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA), Hawaii’s largest health plan,
announced today the $50 million HMSA Initiative for Innovation and Quality, the
largest outlay for this type of program in HMSA’s history. The HMSA Initiative
for Innovation and Quality (HI-IQ) will transform health care in Hawaii by funding
innovative advancements by Hawaii hospitals and providing assistance in acquiring
Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems for Hawaii physicians.
The HMSA Initiative for Innovation and Quality has two parts. $30 million ($10 million
a year over the next three years) will fund unique projects proposed by HMSA participating
acute care hospitals. "Each hospital will have the opportunity to propose projects
that best serve their patients’ needs," said Robert P. Hiam, HMSA president
and CEO. "We will look for significant ideas to improve patient care and outcomes."
The second component of the HMSA Initiative for Innovation and Quality is $20 million
to assist independent participating physicians statewide in acquiring EMR systems.
"It is our vision that this will transform the way hundreds, or perhaps thousands,
of local physicians provide care for their patients," Hiam said. "Electronic
medical records will dramatically enhance patient care, reduce errors, minimize
duplication, and provide true efficiencies in the delivery of care," he added.
"As we learned from Hurricane Katrina, EMRs are vital when a disaster strikes
because they provide continued access to medical information for people in active
treatment, whether paper files are lost or destroyed, or people are relocated."
"The cost of this initiative will not come from member or employer monthly
dues," Hiam said. "It will be funded by a combination of investment income
HMSA is a nonprofit, mutual benefit association founded in Hawaii in 1938. It is
governed by a community board of directors that serves without compensation and
includes representatives from health care, business, labor, government, education,
clergy, and the community at large. HMSA is a member of the Blue Cross and Blue
Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.
Nationally, HMSA and 37 other Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans provide worldwide
coverage to more than 94 million members.