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HB Healthcare & Insurance

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Ray Vara, President and CEO

Q&A with Ray Vara, President and CEO of Hawai‘i Pacific Health

Q: With the Affordable Care Act, what will change for people in Hawai‘i in regard to how we select or receive health care?

A: This is a period of significant change for the health care industry and I believe that ultimately patients will benefit. A shift is under way to focus on the value of health care provided rather than volume. That’s a good thing as it aligns everyone around what is most important - delivering high quality, affordable care that improves health.  Health care providers will increasingly be paid based on their performance in a number of measures including clinical quality, patient satisfaction, mitigating rising medical costs and expanding access to care. At Hawai‘i Pacific Health, we’ve made innovative changes in nearly every area of our health care system.

Q: How do electronic health records actually help patients?

A: A patient’s entire health record is now available to his or her care team within the Hawai‘i Pacific Health family, whether it be at one of our clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms, or any of the 120+ community doctors who have partnered with us through HealthAdvantage CONNECT. Primary care physicians, along with their care team, can review a patient’s entire health profile and be their partner in staying well or managing a chronic illness.  And it means our patients can take an active role in managing their own health by using our online patient portal, MyHealthAdvantage. 

Our efforts in this arena recently earned Hawai‘i Pacific Health the 2012 Enterprise Davies Award of Excellence, a national honor recognizing the most effective use of electronic health records to improve patient health. 

Q: With all these hospital rating agencies, what is the most relevant measure of good health care?

A: Everyone has a different measure of what good health care is, but for Hawai‘i Pacific Health, good health care equates to the highest quality care delivered with an outstanding patient experience. Our four hospitals – Kapi‘olani Medical Center, Pali Momi, Straub and Wilcox - have a long legacy in Hawai‘i. I encourage people to learn more by viewing our Quality Report at www.hawaiipacifichealth.org/innovation.

Q: I feel like my health care is so dependent on which insurance I have, rather than which doctors I’d like to see. 

A: While your insurance plan does direct you to receive care from a certain network of doctors and hospitals, patients still have a significant say in where they choose to get their health care. Nothing is more important than the relationship between a patient and his or her doctor.

This article is intended to address issues of general interest and serve as an informative guide on company healthcare & insurance initiatives.


Hawai‘i Pacific Health – Corporate Office
(808) 949-WELL (9355)
Toll-free: 1-877-709-WELL (9355) 
55 Merchant Street
Honolulu, HI 96813


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