N.H. hospital becomes member of MaineHealth

MaineHealth trustees have agreed to include as a member Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H., hospital officials announced Monday.

Memorial is the first hospital outside Maine to join the MaineHealth system, which includes Maine Medical Center in Portland, Goodall Hospital in Sanford and several other Maine hospitals and health care affiliates.

Memorial already had a strong relationship with Maine Medical Center, said MaineHealth President Bill Caron in a news release.

The two organizations negotiated for about 18 months before MaineHealth’s trustees approved the agreement.

Memorial officials sought a strategic partnership that would position their organization to adapt to growing technology needs and anticipated changes in hospital payment systems.

“We feel strongly that Memorial can’t continue to go it alone,” said Scott McKinnon, Memorial’s president and CEO.

Memorial, which includes a 25-bed hospital and a 45-bed nursing home, will submit the agreement for review by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office.

Maine gasoline prices fall 6 cents since last week

Maine gas prices have dropped nearly 6 cents per gallon in the past week, to an average of $3.64.

Price-monitoring website MaineGasPrices.com reports Monday the average retail gasoline price in Maine is now just 6 cents above the national average of $3.58.

In-state prices are now more than 33 cents lower per gallon than at the same time last year and nearly 15 cents per gallon lower than a month ago.

Nationally, prices are 9 cents lower than a month ago.

The Maine price is based on a survey of more than 1,200 gas stations.

Class-action suit denied against Hannaford Bros.

A federal judge has denied a motion that would have made a class action of the case against Hannaford Bros. for a data breach in 2007-08 in which customers’ credit card and debit card data were stolen.

A decision in U.S. District Court on March 20 found that the plaintiffs failed to show they could prove total damages on a classwide basis.

Four plaintiffs moved for certification of a class to pursue claims for fees to obtain new cards, fees paid to expedite delivery of new cards, and fees paid for identity theft insurance and credit monitoring. Hannaford objected.

Fox executive alleges Aereo steals, sells signals

A top executive with the owner of the Fox broadcast network threatened Monday to convert the network to a subscription channel on cable or satellite TV if Internet startup Aereo Inc. continues to “steal” Fox’s over-the-air signal and sell it to consumers without paying for rights.

Although anyone with an antenna can pick up a station’s signals for free, cable and satellite companies typically pay stations and networks for the right to distribute their programming to subscribers. Industrywide, those retransmission fees add up to billions of dollars every year. Aereo says it’s not subject to those fees.

News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey said that not being paid by Aereo jeopardizes the economics of broadcast TV, which benefits from both retransmission fees and advertising.

“This is not an ideal path we look to pursue, but we can’t sit idly by and let an entity steal our signal,” Carey said at the annual gathering of broadcasters, called NAB Show, in Las Vegas. “If we can’t do a fair deal, we could take the whole network to a subscription model.”

Fox owns 27 TV stations that thrive on the signal of Fox or its sister network, MyNetworkTV. Carey didn’t explain how they might be affected by his proposal.

– From staff and news services