BRUNSWICK — Parkview Adventist Medical Center and Central Maine Healthcare filed a certificate of need application on Wednesday, seeking state approval for Parkview to join the larger CMHC organization.
According to a Parkview news release, the hospital trustees are seeking "state approval for this simple but vital change of control transaction. There are no capital costs, new equipment, any change of services or number of beds at Parkview associated with this project."
The possible merger is the latest in a trend that has seen several independent hospitals across Maine and the U.S. joining larger health care systems to survive in a troubled economy.
“This is by far the best option for both Parkview and the communities we serve as we go forward in the 21st century," Mike Ortel, chairman of the Parkview board, said. "Area residents will continue to have the very important local choice of hospitals. Parkview will continue to improve quality, control our costs and increase local access to care — everything the community is asking us to do. This is a marvelous step forward for Parkview.”
Central Maine Healthcare is the parent organization of Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston as well as Bridgton and Rumford hospitals. In June, it requested that the Department of Health and Human Services allow it to take control of Parkview's nine-member board of directors through a rewriting of Parkview's articles or incorporation and bylaws.
Later that month, Mid Coast Hospital, a larger hospital near Parkview, responded by filing a competing proposal that all acute care inpatient and outpatient care be consolidated at its campus at Cook’s Corner, eliminating the need for Parkview in the community.
If DHHS approves the CON, Parkview will become the fourth hospital in the CMHC system.
“Parkview is a fine hospital that shares our values and aspirations and our drive for current and future excellence," Paul Dionne, CMHC board chairman, said. "We continue to be respectful of the Seventh Day Adventist mission and values.”
According to the news release, Parkview will be maintained as a health care organization in its current form. Responsibility for the day-to-day operational control of Parkview will reside with Parkview, subject to ultimate oversight by Central Maine Healthcare. Parkview retains ownership of its assets and its tax-exempt charitable status.
“We have worked closely and very successfully with Central Maine Healthcare for over a decade,” Randee Reynolds, Parkview president, said. “They helped us bring LifeFlight of Maine to our campus and the Telestroke service in collaboration with The Massachusetts General Hospital.
"Physicians specializing in cardiology, orthopedic surgery, emergency medicine, family medicine and gastroenterology have joined us, which greatly expands our range of services," Reynolds said. "They have proven to be an outstanding health care partner and we look forward to our future association which will bring us so many benefits."