In Hawai'i, Hospital Ousts Locals for Exclusive Radiology Contract
Maui Radiology Associates (MRA), which for years has enjoyed an exclusive contract to provide radiology services at the local Maui Memorial Medical Center (MMMC), is protesting a decision by the hospital to sign over those rights to the Dallas, TX-based teleradiology firm, RadCare. According to the Maui News, MRA will challenge the hospital’s new, two-year contract with RadCare at a state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs hearing next week. The News described the changing of the guard as “a bitter pill for island physicians who've helped build the hospital's Radiology Department into a state-of-the-art facility,” and highlighted comments from MRA doctors characterizing the provider as the “Wal-Mart” of radiology. Radiologist Andrew Kayes said MMMC “is throwing out a group of radiologists who are raising their families here and who are a strong part of the community." The News also points out that the recommendation of the MMMC medical committee was to retain MRA as its provider group of choice. That call was overridden by the Maui Regional Board of Hawaii Health Services Corp, which held three positions on the five-person panel. The panel ranked MRA last among its four bidders for the contract; the other three—RadCare, AllegiantMD, and Tacoma Radiological Associates—are headquartered out of state. Selection criteria for the proposal were weighted by service delivery plan (30 percent) cost (30 percent) management and control (30 percent) and background experience and references (10 percent). This final category had been weighted at 35 percent in prior requests for proposal, MRA said, and would have been a stronger component in its favor under the former guidelines. In the end, however, it may have come down to the bottom line. MMMC expects it will save $600,000 annually under the new agreement.