Hope Prevails for Local Diabetes Patients
Weigh program not just for the privately insured
Individuals who are insured through Medicare or Medicaid can still go through the Comprehensive Weight Management Program.
Coordinator, Valerie Kauhane, said Medicare or Medicaid would require the surgery to be performed at a Center of Excellence (COE). Unfortunately, Hawai`i has no hospitals which meet the criteria for the designation. Kauhane said in order to be designated as a COE, a hospital has to perform 125 annual procedures. “We (Queen’s) expect to be a Center of Excellence in 18 months or so,” she said.
However, patients who have Medicare or Medicaid can still go through CWMP and have the surgery in the mainland, according to Kauhane. The only expenses patients might have to pay are the airfare and hotel. Next month a Molokai resident will have the surgery in the mainland, Kauhane said.
The CWMP is funded by the Native Hawaiian Health Program. Diabetes patients who are overweight are encouraged to go to a Molokai General Hospital clinic on June 21, even if they lack health insurance. Kauhane will be there to answer questions and work with the community to examine different options to help fight this devastating disease. “This can be a lifesaving surgery,” she said.
Kauhane can be reached at (808) 537-7546 for additional information.