BRUNSWICK, Maine — Central Maine Healthcare in Lewiston announced Thursday that it has requested that the state suspend for one year the hospital’s bid to acquire Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Brunswick.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services was reviewing a Certificate of Need application filed by CHMC and Parkview in August 2012 seeking approval for the merger.
But at a meeting in January, DHHS suggested that Central Maine Healthcare conduct a feasibility study “about the future of Parkview,” Chuck Gill, vice president for public affairs at CMHC, said Thursday.
“We looked at what they requested and realized it would take quite a bit of time to put the information together,” he said.
Gill said the department requested information “about the future of Parkview and what the organizations will be doing to make sure Parkview can thrive in the future.”
According to a release issued Thursday by CMHC and Parkview, “The leadership of both Central Maine Healthcare and Parkview remain upbeat about Parkview’s continued important role as a healthcare provider. Although this delay is unfortunate, Parkview still expects to become part of Central Maine Healthcare in the future. In the interim, Parkview will continue to serve the people of the mid-coast region with compassion and distinction.”
Parkview spokesperson Tory Ryden on Thursday referred calls to Gill.
After CMHC filed its Certificate of Need application, Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick sought to block the plan and filed its own competing Certificate of Need application in an attempt to absorb all of Parkview’s operations and create a single hospital in Brunswick.
In October, hundreds of people attended a public hearing in Brunswick to weigh in on the proposal. Many that night spoke of loyalty to faith-based Parkview, while others argued that the midcoast region could not support two hospitals.
Steve Trockman, director of community relations and outreach at Mid Coast Hospital, said Thursday that Mid Coast had not been notified of any decision about a Certificate of Need by DHHS, and that the hospital would not take any action as a result of Thursday’s release — “at least not immediately.”
“Mid Coast Hospital just learned about this ourselves,” Trockman said. “We’re not surprised by the state’s request for an additional feasibility review because this is such an important issue for both the economy and for health care for Maine and in the midcoast region. Our position on this issue has not change in that we will remain as we always have, a community-based resource that’s dedicated to providing the highest quality health care and wellness services to the region.”
Gill said the CHMC/Parkview feasibility study already has begun. He was unsure how long it would last..
“Everything stops at this point in time,” he said of the Certificate of Need process. “We gather the information and, once [DHHS has] it, we start the process again. The hospitals continue as they are. Parkview remains an independent hospital. We have a working relationship.”