Wahiawa General Hospital will close its nursing center due to financial difficulties

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Central Oʻahu’s only qualified nursing and rehabilitation facility is scheduled to close this summer.

Wahiawa General Hospital said it plans to close its long-term nursing care center on July 22, citing insufficient insurance reimbursements and ongoing financial difficulties.

It has also struggled to hire and retain staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wahiawa General, a small independent hospital, had received millions of taxpayer dollars to keep it afloat in the past, but it still loses more than $1 million a year.

Nor does it have the money to improve existing facilities, such as the long-term nursing care center, which was built in 1966.

Hospital administrators said many Wahiawa patients are covered by the Supplemental Security Income program or Medicaid — which have low reimbursement rates.

The long-term care center has 115 beds, according to its website. It currently has 60 patients.

John McDermott, the state’s long-term care ombudsman, said Hawaii cannot afford to lose nursing homes, especially when the state’s senior population is growing so rapidly. The closest alternatives for skilled nursing and rehabilitation are in Kāneʻohe and Pearl City.

Wahiawa General gives 90 days notice and helps move patients.

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