The State of Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS) Med-QUEST Division (MQD) has launched the Hawaii Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. Through this program, eligible professionals and eligible hospitals can receive incentive payments to adopt, implement, upgrade, or meaningfully use certified EHR technology. Eligible professionals can receive up to $63,750 over 6 years, and eligible hospitals can receive more than $5,000,000 over 4 years. The incentives are federally funded.

The Department of Human Services is pleased to announce that it has selected Albert Perez to be the Administrator for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) effective August 15, 2013. Mr. Perez has devoted 29 years of his career to the DVR.

The Hawaii State Departments of Health (DOH) and Human Services (DHS) are holding a joint community forum on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. in the Queen’s Conference Center Auditorium to outline changes in how health care services will be provided for individuals currently receiving mental health services from the state. These changes will take effect on September 1, 2013. Behavioral health stakeholders, consumers, legislators, and service providers are strongly encouraged to attend.

Due to continuing non-compliance with State Licensing of Group Child Care Centers and Group Child Care Homes regulatory requirements (HAR §17-892.1), the Department of Human Services (DHS) Childcare Licensing Unit has suspended the operating license of Kids Play Corner, Inc. dba Busy Buddies Hawaii, in Kailua Kona, Hawaii Island, effective Wednesday, July 3, 2013. This is the second suspension of facility’s license this year. The first occurred in February 2013.

“Through SB1340, which extends the voluntary foster care age to 21, we are sending a message to former foster youth that we will continue to support their transition to adulthood, independence and self-sufficiency. Doing so lays the foundation for long-term positive outcomes for youth when they leave foster care. It will also result in substantial cost savings in future government services.”

Individuals 65 years or older account for 14.7 percent of Hawaii’s population, which makes Hawaii the eighth in the nation in terms of the greatest percentage of older Americans. The following bills provide protections and resources needed for Hawaii’s growing kupuna population.

Governor Signs School Readiness Bill

Posted on Jun 24, 2013 in NEWS

A key component of the Governor’s legislative package, SB1093 (enacted as Act 151) establishes the Preschool Open Doors Program as the statewide school readiness program administered by the state Department of Human Services. The new voluntary program will provide access to school readiness services that address children’s physical, cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional development. The program will serve 4-year-old children, with priority extended to underserved or at-risk keiki, and those who are not eligible to attend public school kindergarten in the school year they turn 5 because their birth date occurs after the kindergarten eligibility date.

House Bill 879 enacted as Act 141, relating to the Hospital Sustainability Program, and House Bill 880 enacted as Act 142, relating to the Nursing Facility Sustainability Program, will leverage available federal funding for the state Department of Human Services (DHS) to make supplemental payments to hospitals and nursing facilities, offsetting a portion of their uncompensated care costs.

The State of Hawaii and the Hawaii Health Connector today received the next stage of approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to launch Hawaii’s new online health insurance marketplace on Oct. 1, 2013. The Department of Human Services (DHS) is implementing a state-of-the-art eligibility system, integrated with The Connector, which includes an online application. DHS will determine eligibility for Medicaid and federal subsidies to purchase health insurance through this new online marketplace.

In the wake of a severe nationwide shortage of Tubersol® and Aplisol®, the purified protein derivative solutions (PPD) used in tuberculosis skin test examinations, the state Department of Human Services (DHS) is implementing Emergency Rules Relating to Evidence of Health Standards, effective May 20, 2013, for child care facilities licensed or registered by the department.