Business Latest local news Mayo Regional Hospital Mid Coast Parkview Hospital Penobscot Valley Hospital

Why Maine Hospitals Combine Instead of Competition – Business – Bangor Daily News – BDN Reputation

Why Maine Hospitals Combine Instead of Competition - Business - Bangor Daily News - BDN Reputation

Strictly tightening the excessive value of business when federal compensation does not cowl costs, and more sufferers need free care, Maine hospitals are in search of one another to outlive.

Hospital mergers, mixtures and co-operation are 20 years, but the development has accelerated during the last five years, specialists stated

"What's happening in Maine is not unusual or unique," says Andrew Coburn, Professor of Public Health Analysis at the University. South Maine in Portland. “Consolidation progresses across the country.”

Coburn was in comparison with hospital consolidation in the automotive business. Successful automotive corporations bought early elements suppliers, as hospitals also bought residence care corporations, blood laboratories and different providers. When the automotive corporations failed, they merged, as some hospitals do.

[Subscribe to our free morning newsletter and get the latest headlines in your inbox]

Some hospitals disappear and switch to clinics, whereas others increase their geographical dimension to improve the standard of care and minimize costs

”[Several] hospitals have ceased to function as hospitals and at the moment are group health centers,” stated Jeffrey Austin, board member of Maine Hospital Association Vice President, Company Affairs and Communications

. , now half of Mid Coast-Parkview Well being; St. Andrews Hospital in Boothbay Harbor, now part of LincolnHealth; Thayer Hospital in Waterville, now half of Maine Basic Well being Augusta; and Goodall Hospital in Sanford, now part of the South Maine Well being Care program

There are 36 personal hospitals, most of which are non-revenue. It additionally has three main healthcare techniques, including hospitals, clinics, blood institutions, housekeeping and different providers

They are in MaineHealth Portland, which includes 11 hospitals and is the most important Maine well being community. Central Maine HealthCare in Lewiston, with three hospitals; and Northern Mild Well being Brewer, nine hospitals. In addition, different hospitals and well being practices have stabilized in recent times.


Austin can also be nervous concerning the quantity of loss-making hospitals

”The extra worrying the share of our 25% of our members have been in purple for at the least 5 years in a row,” he stated. “You're going to decrease your obtainable palms, and we've seen it. It's onerous there.

Nick Sambides Jr BDN

Nick Sambides Jr BDN

Peninscot Valley Lincoln Hospital, seen Friday, Nov 28, 2014.

This development hit residence in January when Penobscot Valley Hospital in Lincoln claimed chapter protection for as much as $ 10 million in debt.

The hospital leaders mentioned decrease numbers of patients because of the closure of Lincoln Paper and the Tissue plant in 2015, in addition to cuts in federal compensation rates.

19659018] “The Penobscot Valley Hospital has a direct link between regional economic conditions and a decline in incomes,” stated Crystal Landry, hospital managing director, in a commentary in Bangor Daily News in January.

The closure of Lincoln Paper meant a whole lot of individuals lost their jobs and medical insurance.

”Since 2015, we have now seen that the number of sufferers has fallen by 65 % and the full volume by 10 %,” he wrote.

[5 rural Maine hospitals, including one in bankruptcy, will get expert help to run sustainably]

Austin stated that although rather a lot of cash can stream to well being care and hospitals, all the money goes straight again within the type of wages, prescription drug costs, and compliance

. Hospitals are in search of economies of scale, spreading their networks to attract extra sufferers and attracting potential staff who are troublesome to recruit, resembling Maine,


On the core of consolidation is the trouble to take care of affected person entry to health care, high quality care, and decrease operating prices, stated Mid Coast -Parkview Well being CEO Lois Skillings

. The state of the good Maine geography, we’ve to think about well being care that doesn't like a commodity however a scarce useful resource, a delicate ecosystem that needs safety, ”he stated. "We have to think that we will come together in a competitive way."

[How Maine’s hospital buddy system took shape]

Among the causes behind the other mergers and consolidations mentioned above are the growing complexity of healthcare provision, technological advances which might be too expensive for smaller hospitals to take benefit of economies of scale, lower federal benefits, bigger patients who can’t afford remedy, and a bigger hospital system to attract medical employees.

A bigger hospital system that may embrace extra hospitals, emergency providers, particular care and clinics has spread to a wider geography.

Courtesy of Mid Coast-Parkview Hospital

Mid Coast Health Acquired by Parkview Adventist The medical middle went bankrupt in August 2015. Two well being care techniques, now generally known as Mid Coast-Parkview Well being, are about 4 miles aside In Brunswick

Skillings served as CEO of Mid Coast Well being in 2015 when it acquired Parkview. If you wish to buy Parkview funds for bankruptcy, Mid Coast paid $ three.eight million in cash, sorry for $ 580,000 that Parkview owed to Mid Coast and revered $ 763,000 of Parkview staff' amassed vacation balances. Mid Coast also agreed to spend at the very least $ 1 million a yr for three years on Parkview campus improvements.

“By combining our resources we can be stronger,” Skillings stated. "This has been a successful success." The mixed group's turnover is about $ 250 million.


The acquisition of Midview's Parkview property was a authorized acquisition and never a merger. Acquisitions often happen when a bigger company purchases a smaller one that ceases to exist. Combination is a mixture of belongings of each corporations.

In accordance with Skillings, the Mid Coast-Parkview Health mixture thought-about its combination as a merger as a result of the brand new hospital was making an attempt to combine cultures and organizations.

Midview Parkview Health took 195 staff from Parkview to make use of a total of 2,000 staff. Parkview staff have been capable of maintain their jobs with out retrieving them, and the strategy was used to chop employees in some acquisitions. The Parkview employees additionally retained their paid leisure, wage and years of service.

“If we hadn't done it [integration] 195 employees at Parkview would have lost their jobs,” Skillings stated. 19659039] The courtesy of Mid Coast-Parkview Hospital

Lois Skillings, CEO of Mid Coast-Parkview Health, says small populations akin to Maine and geography want to think about healthcare. scarce resource, delicate ecosystem

He stated Parkview was a small hospital that was unable to take care of hospital care.

"These services cost so much in an area with a small population," he stated. “There was no capability to have a full-service hospital on the Parkview campus, 4 miles from the Mid Coast Hospital.

“We needed these two organizations to satisfy and improve health care locally. By avoiding duplication of assets, we’ve got saved $ 8 million a yr. It has helped us keep that we’re one of Maine's most reasonably priced healthcare techniques, he stated.

Although Parkview not has hospital care and ER providers, Skillings stated that its work to stop the disease will continue within the Well being and Wellbeing Middle

The mixed organization invested $ 6.2 million to completely renovate the Parkview campus.

Group Disagreement

Some group members usually are not fans of a brand new group. "Take me to Parkview & # 39; s Buffer Stickers for the cars in Brunswick."

"I know there are still people who tease that they used hospital care at Parkview," Skillings stated. “But the days when small hospitals are hospitalized for an average of 10 or even less than 20 patients for a daily census are over. It is difficult to do it economically unless you have a critical hospital. ”

[Dexter council approves proposed Mayo hospital merger with Northern Light Health]

The current patients' considerations about attainable local service losses are widespread in hospital mixtures. Mayo Regional Hospital organizes a quantity of public meetings that permit the group to ask questions, together with whether Mayo loses its maternity ward, as has happened in different Maine hospitals

Stuart Hedstrom | Piscataquis Observer

Stuart Hedstrom | Piscataquis Observer

Marie Vienneau, Managing Director of Mayo Regional Hospital, opens a group discussion board on the proposed merger in hospital and northern mild at Ridge View, Dexter, April 1, 2019. The session was the primary of four.

Even before the Mayo and Northern Mild merger votes, Mayo had hassle attracting and retaining employees. It closed Guilford Medical Associates, its main health workplace in Guilford, on April fifth.

Mayo had a $ 1.5 million operating loss within the final five months, and Medicare and Medicaid have suffered from not paying the complete value of remedy, stated Nancy Glidden Mayo Government Vice President at Dexter on April 1. Insurance corporations are additionally making an attempt to compel compensation.

“As a small hospital, we now have little or no to say to negotiate. We expect in a system surroundings that we will do better, he stated.

But even a relatively larger hospital, corresponding to Mid Coast-Parkview, is aware of the heat of the low-reward. Skillings stated becoming a member of Parkview was a necessity for the Mid Coast Hospital, which handled increasingly patients with high deductible who could not look out for taking care while they have been receiving decrease compensation from the federal authorities.

The hospital absorbs $ 24.6 million of irreplaceable care

[The feds are making it harder for hospitals to survive]

Skillings stated that Mid Coast-Parkview Health has been capable of keep its low-value providers, which he stated averaged 35 % under the nationwide average before and after joining Parkview & # 39 ;.

Parkview, I don't assume we might have had economies of scale to switch $ 24.6 million for irreplaceable care, deductions and increased prices. It has helped us to take care of our favorable position, he stated. "Less and less people pay for the actual health care costs."

Medicare stated he would not start the fee of providers.

Major and new financial pressures have prompted Mid Coast-Parkview to think about merging MaineHealth.

Ioanna Raptis | The York Weekly

Ioanna Raptis | York's Weekly

The York Hospital is the only Maine hospital that participates in a federal lawsuit, in line with which the new US rules on well being and well being can considerably scale back some Medicare funds.

Merge or Merge?

Mergers and consolidations drive certain compromises. Within the Mid Coast-Parkview venture, it meant placing an finish to emergency and hospital providers at Parkview.

"It was a tough decision because people loved this hospital," Skillings stated.

Skillings stated that it isn’t smart to duplicate providers when

Mid Coast-Parkview is economically and medically robust, he stated, and is considering becoming a member of MaineHealth to realize extra economies of scale and access to expensive applied sciences that may in any other case be unreasonable. [19659071“OneMaineHealthStrategyPoweredOneElectronserviceResearchPortalPortalSystem”hesaid

”There could also be some advantages to our patients, employees, and employees [in merging]. our organization has made progress in know-how, respond to the wants of its employees and have the assets to save lots of these confused waters as the compensation is decreased and costs lowered. ”[19659073] The hospital system board is learning the merger with MaineHealth within the next four months.

[Dover-Foxcroft hospital officials say Northern Light merger is crucial for survival]

In line with Coburn, South Maine College, the key benefit of mergers or mergers is the higher availability of digital medical data.

Regardless of whether or not it’s in Farmington or Biddeford, health care techniques have all of the health info, despite the fact that you may get most of your remedy in Portland, he stated.

Austin of the Maine Hospital Association stated that hospitals which might be unbiased may be partners in providers they do not present, corresponding to laboratory providers or entry to specialist most cancers remedy specialists. Whether unbiased hospitals have survived, depends upon many elements, particularly the situation and health of the regional financial system.

Stuart Hedstrom | Piscataquis Observer

Stuart Hedstrom | Piscataquis Observer

Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft

One persistent challenge of mergers is whether or not mixed organizations can enhance the standard of care and scale back prices.

A research by Charles River Associates in 2017, asking about hospital managers, and the metrics surveyed confirmed that the combined advantages of pooled organizations scale back prices and enhance care.

The second research by Martin Gaynor, a economist on the University of Carnegie Mellon, discovered that evidence from three many years of hospital associations exhibits that they could not improve high quality.

In accordance with Gaynor, proscribing competition between hospitals can lead to inferior outcomes. That is especially true when authorities units costs with packages like Medicare.

Coburn stated it was not clear but whether mixed health techniques would improve quality and scale back costs in Maine.

to do service? "he asked. “Economists would like to see if we have a state that can have competition. I don't think we can. "