Central Maine Healthcare in Lewiston is seeking state approval to take over Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Brunswick.
In a news release announcing the planned merger, Parkview officials described the hospital's joint filing of a certificate of need application with Central Maine Health Care as a "simple but vital change of control transaction" that would not involve any capital costs, new equipment or "any change of services or number of beds at Parkview," the Sun Journal reported.
The newspaper also reported that Parkview's competitor in Brunswick, Mid Coast Hospital, had filed a competing proposal in June to consolidate all of Parkview's acute inpatient and outpatient care.
If approved, Parkview would join Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston and the Bridgton and Rumford hospitals, which are all under the umbrella of CMHC.
But Steve Trockman, spokesman for Mid Coast Hospital, said mid-day Thursday that Mid Coast plans to file its certificate of need application to the state opposing CMHC's merger with Parkview. Mid Coast proposes its own partnership with Parkview, which the hospital asserts will eliminate what it calls a "costly duplication of services."
According to the Sun Journal, Parkview would retain day-to-day operational control of the hospital, subject to ultimate oversight by CMHC. Parkview retains ownership of its assets and its tax-exempt charitable status.
The merger announcement is the latest chapter in the jockeying that has taken place between CMHC and Mid Coast Hospital over Parkview in recent years. When CMHC and Parkview signed letters of intent in March 2008 to make Parkview a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lewiston-based health care system, Mid Coast six months later pointedly justified its proposal of a $3.5 million upgrade as a cheaper alternative than the yearly cost of CMHC continuing to operate Parkview.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story did not include details of Mid Coast Hospital's counter-proposal.