March 31, 2018

Hirono Advocacy Allows Hale Makua to Continue Veterans’ Services

Senator Mazie K. Hirono visited Hale Makua on Maui to highlight her work to allow the facility to continue to serve as a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provider. Following the VA’s decision to terminate a provider agreement that had been in place since 2013, Senator Hirono facilitated discussions that culminated in Hale Makua being contracted by the VA to provide nursing home care to Maui veterans.

“Facilities like Hale Makua who are committed to serving our veterans should be able to do so,” Senator Hirono said. “Our veterans deserve access to health care services in their own communities, and I will continue to work to find solutions like the new agreement between Hale Makua and the VA.”

“We are grateful for Senator Mazie Hirono’s office and the VA for collaboratively working with us on a solution to continue providing services to our veterans. I strongly believe that as an asset to Maui’s community, Hale Makua has a duty to care for our veterans. We are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to ensure that veterans can receive nursing home care without having to travel to another island,” Wesley Lo, Hale Makua Health Services CEO said.

Since 2013, Hale Makua has been the only nursing home on Maui providing services to veterans under a VA Provider Agreement pilot program. Last year, the VA decided not to continue the program and allowed the remaining agreements to terminate on January 31. In order for veterans to continue to receive care at Hale Makua, the facility needed to become a federal contractor.

After Senator Hirono’s office was contacted by the family of a veteran who was concerned that he would have to move to Oahu to continue to receive nursing home care, Senator Hirono successfully facilitated discussions between Hale Makua and the VA to expedite the contracting process. As of April 1, Hale Makua will be contracted by the VA to provide nursing home care. Under this new contract, all veterans enrolled in VA healthcare are eligible for respite and hospice care and those veterans with a service-connected rating of 70% or higher are eligible for short-term rehab and long-term care.