How does Hawai‘i’s economic geography affect its healthcare industry?

Hawai‘i’s small size and isolation present particular challenges to the healthcare industry, including lower productivity and higher costs, due to its limited ability to take advantage of economies of scale. The state’s high cost of living likely compounds these problems by hindering the recruitment of healthcare professionals who must often be hired from out-of-state. Furthermore, national reimbursement policies that fail to reflect regional price or productivity differences in Hawai‘i may also contribute to healthcare service shortages. These issues are potentially even more acute in Hawai‘i’s rural and isolated communities, underscoring the need for evidence-based strategies and policy designs that address the unique challenges facing the healthcare industry in Hawai‘i.

This work was funded by the University of Hawai‘i (UH) System Rural Health Research and Policy Center (RHRPC) through a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) No. GE1HS47344. Inspired by community needs, RHRPC uses policy strategies to improve health across geographies through policy-relevant research, actionable, strategic policy, and community engagement.  Contact RHRPC:

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