No changes at hospital despite legal notice

Posted July 15, 2009, at 11:16 p.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — A legal notice concerning Down East Community Hospital that has appeared recently in the Bangor Daily News reflects only the well-publicized changes at the hospital over the past month and no further changes, officials said Wednesday.

There have been no new decisions or changes concerning the hospital, officials said Wednesday, adding that the legal notice was simply a state requirement.

The notice confirms that an original agreement between the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the hospital was rescinded on July 10, when the hospital was placed in receivership.

It references the new deadline for installing corrective measures for compliance, which is Sept. 30.

“It did have some odd wording,” said Suzanne Spruce of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, which took over management of the hospital after it was placed in receivership last month.

The notice partly states: “Notice is hereby given that the provider agreement between Down East Community Hospital, and the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services … effective July 10, 2009 has been rescinded. Termination of this facility as a Critical Access Hospital under Medicare will be effective midnight September 30, 2009. The Centers for Medicare & Medical Services has determined that Down East Community Hospital has failed to maintain compliance with Medicare requirements.”

All of that information, Spruce noted, has been reported by the BDN and other media outlets and the notice says nothing new.

“This is merely a legal announcement that the state was required to post once the July 10 agreement was rescinded,” Spruce said.

She said EMHS expects to have all corrective measures and plans in place before the Sept. 30 deadline.

bdnpittsfield@myfairpoint.net

255-0618

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