Second Medical Charter Approved

Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga yesterday approved LBJ and Medicaid’s request for a second medical charter to transport LBJ approved referral patients to the US.

The medical charter is a one-way charter taking only patients and their escorts from American Samoa to Hawaii. The tentative date of the medical charter is set for Friday, October 23, due to the urgency of medical referrals that have been pending for several weeks.

The terms of the charter are the same as it was in the July charter. All Medicaid eligible patients will be covered by Medicaid and if there are any seats available for the public, a cost share must be paid. There will be no passengers coming from Hawaii to protect the airplane from potential contamination to pick up 111 LBJ approved referral patients. Any remaining available seats will be prioritized first for US federal employees that need to return to the US, US residents stranded on island and all others.

LBJ and the Medicaid office will manage all LBJ approved referral patients. Medicaid will provide prior authorization and screen all escorts for compliance to the Medicaid State Plan. Escorts must at least be 21 years old, of sound mind and body and able to emotionally & physically provide support and assistance in addition to being able to legally make decisions for the patient.

‘Patients who are minors require legal guardians as escorts. All non-patient passengers will be vetted by the Attorney General’s office.

Medicaid Director Sandra King Young stated, “We ask for the public’s understanding that because this is a medical charter transporting more than 100 patients who are very sick, with co-morbidities and respiratory issues—this is deemed a one-way flight. We cannot risk this medical charter, by bringing any asymptomatic passenger who may potentially contaminate the airplane that we need to transport sick patients on to the US. Medicaid’s responsibility is to ensure the safe transfer of our Medicaid patients to the US. Our office will issue more information as it becomes available.”

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