Sunday, December 8, 2013
By Jessica Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
The fight for control of Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Brunswick took a twist Thursday as Mid Coast Hospital's proposal got sidelined by the state, while a rival proposal was on track for state review and a public hearing.
The Department of Health and Human Services determined that Mid Coast's 900-page proposal to absorb Parkview did not meet the criteria for a "certificate of need" review because it was not proposing to legally take over the hospital, but form a looser partnership.
The state reviews mergers, acquisitions and changes in control. Parkview had not agreed to the proposal by Mid Coast Hospital, which also is in Brunswick.
Meanwhile, the proposal by Central Maine Medical Center of Lewiston to take over Parkview will be reviewed. The state will scrutinize the plan's effect on total health care expenditures, the competing demands in the area, and whether less costly alternatives are available, said Phyllis Powell, assistant director of the DHHS's Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services.
A public hearing on CMMC's proposal will be held Oct. 24.
Despite the state's decision not to review Mid Coast's proposal, Mid Coast said its plan to partner with Parkview has not ended. It still wants to absorb Parkview, contending that would save the community $24.3 million a year in health care costs by eliminating duplicate services.
Mid Coast and Parkview are less than five miles apart.
"Our vision is still completely on the table," said Mid Coast spokesman Steve Trockman. "Mid Coast is hopeful that Parkview will meet with us."
A spokeswoman for Parkview was not available for comment.
Mid Coast said it will host a community forum Oct. 15 to discuss its proposal. Under its plan, Parkview's intensive care, inpatient and outpatient services and emergency departments would be consolidated at Mid Coast.
Mid Coast would create a $10 million endowment of the Parkview Health Trust to support health and wellness services at Parkview.
CMMC's competing plan would keep Parkview intact as an acute care hospital. Central Maine wants to make Parkview a subsidiary in its network, which includes a 250-bed hospital in Lewiston, Bridgton Hospital and Rumford Hospital.
Parkview's board has voted to support the acquisition. No money would change hands, and there would be no new equipment or change of services at Parkview.
Parkview and Central Maine have been working together for about 10 years. The partnership allows Central Maine's emergency department physicians to work at Parkview.
"We commend the state Department of Health and Human Services with deciding against a review of Mid Coast's proposal. It was an angry proposal," said CMMC spokesman Chuck Gill. "The ultimate goal of Mid Coast is to extinguish Parkview."
Powell said CMMC's proposal met the review criteria because it plans to take control of Parkview and make it a subsidiary.
The competition for Parkview comes as other smaller hospitals in Maine become part of larger chains.
For example, Goodall Hospital in Sanford received state approval last month to join the MaineHealth System, which includes Maine Medical Center in Portland, Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford and nine other hospitals.
Mercy Hospital in Portland recently signed a letter of intent to negotiate its sale to Steward Health Care System LLC, a for-profit hospital chain based in Massachusetts.
Staff Writer Jessica Hall can be contacted at 791-6316 or at: