Mid Coast Hospital filed a proposal with the state Wednesday that calls for absorbing rival Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Brunswick in a move Mid Coast says would save the community $24.3 million a year in health care costs.

Mid Coast also asked that a competing plan from Central Maine Healthcare Corp. to partner with Parkview be denied.

Under Mid Coast’s plan, Parkview’s intensive care, inpatient and outpatient services and emergency departments would be consolidated at Mid-Coast, which has 92 beds. Mid Coast also would create a $10 million endowment of the Parkview Health Trust to support health and wellness services at Parkview serving the Brunswick area.

By eliminating duplicating services, Mid Coast said, its plan would save about $250 million over the next decade. Mid Coast and Parkview are less than five miles apart.

The proposal competes with Parkview’s plan to remain an acute care facility and become the fourth hospital in Central Maine’s network, which includes a 250-bed medical center in Lewiston, Bridgton Hospital and Rumford Hospital.

Parkview’s board has already voted to support the acquisition by Central Maine. The two hospitals filed a Certificate of Need Application in August seeking state approval for a change-of-control transaction. No money would change hands, and there would be no new equipment or change of services at Parkview.

Parkview and Central Maine have already been working together for about 10 years. The partnership allows Central Maine emergency department physicians to work at Parkview, which has 55 beds.

Under Certificate of Need reviews, the state Department of Health and Human Services must decide within 45 days whether hospital construction or reorganizations can proceed. Mid Coast’s competing Certificate of Need proposal was filed Wednesday.

In a 900-page report, Mid Coast argued that Central Maine’s proposal with Parkview would increase the cost of health care by duplicating services and triggering a “medical arms race” in the midcoast area. Mid Coast said its proposal was in line with efforts nationally to reform health care, consolidate services and reduce the cost of health care.

“The fact that (Parkview) is insolvent … and incapable of operating on their own makes this very different than any application that has ever been reviewed before,” Mid Coast said in its application.

Central Maine officials say it has worked with Parkview for about a decade and was asked to help keep the hospital operating.

“We were asked by Parkview to preserve choice and access. Mid Coast can’t stand competition and wants to be the only hospital in town,” Central Maine spokesman Chuck Gill said.

Parkview officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment on Mid Coast’s formal proposal.

Maine hospitals have been joining forces with larger health care systems to save money and get access to new services and specialists.

H.D. Goodall Hospital in Biddeford has received state approval 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 in Massachusetts.

Both Mid Coast and Central Maine have competed to partner with Parkview in the past. Four years ago, the two hospitals clashed over competing plans for Parkview. Mid Coast’s most recent effort to take over Parkview created some ill-will between the two.

Lois Skillings, president and chief executive of Mid Coast, said it was time for the two Brunswick hospitals to move on.

“I am very sorry about what has happened in the past between Mid Coast and Parkview. This is a new opportunity for all of us to look at a very different landscape and a new way of delivering healthcare,” Skillings said.

Staff Writer Jessica Hall can be contacted at 791-6316 or at:

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