State briefs for September 3

Doctors lose jobs after hospital switches contractors

HONOLULU — A dozen doctors lost their positions after a Honolulu hospital switched to a new employment contractor, officials said.

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The Queen’s Medical Center physicians belonged to Medical Specialists of Hawaii, which has had a contract with the hospital to care for surgical patients for the past decade.

The hospital hired Envision Healthcare Corporation of Nashville, Tenn., one of the nation’s largest physician-staffing companies, which is owned by private equity firm KKR & Co. Inc.

Patient care and physician coverage are not expected to be impacted by the change, said Rick Bruno, hospital vice president for patient care.

The 12 independent physicians are all hospitalists, a category of doctors who care for patients only while they are in the hospital. They retain hospital privileges, but are no longer paid or contracted to care for patients there. The doctors were offered positions with Envision, but none accepted, officials said.

Bruno did not respond to questions about how Envision plans to staff the hospital or the company’s billing practices.

USS Arizona Memorial reopens after 15-month repair

HONOLULU — The USS Arizona Memorial welcomed large numbers of visitors to its reopening during the weekend after 15 months of repairs, officials said.

The memorial received thousands of sightseers Sunday for the first time since its closure after its dock was partially submerged and cracks were found in May 2018.

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Bob and Patty Drake of Minneapolis waited nearly two hours to be on the first boat to the monument in the harbor.

“This is a bucket list thing,” Bob Drake said. “It’s sad, it’s impressive; it makes you proud.”

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