FCHN Board of Directors Votes to Join MaineHealth.
Membership to Help Protect Quality of Care in Franklin County
December 19, 2013
Franklin Community Health Network (FCHN), which includes Franklin Memorial Hospital based in Farmington, Maine, has begun a process to make Franklin Community Health Network a member of the MaineHealth system. The decision to join MaineHealth was unanimously approved by the FCHN board of directors earlier this week.
The Franklin Community Health Network board of directors engaged in a process over the last six months to analyze options for the network’s future and concluded that membership in the MaineHealth system would protect the delivery and quality of healthcare in the greater Franklin County area. Joseph Bujold, Chair of the Franklin Community Health Network board of directors explained, “We did our homework and decided that MaineHealth was the best option for us. This decision best positions our organization to assure health care services for our communities for the next generation.”
Fewer than 15 percent of all hospitals nationally remain independent, and with the downturn in the economy and healthcare reform, many independent hospitals are in merger discussions. “The changing landscape of government reimbursement, the increasing costs to deliver healthcare, increasing regulation and a drive to improve quality is paving the way for many small hospitals to seek membership in larger systems,” said Rebecca Arsenault, President and CEO of Franklin Community Health Network.
FCHN’s membership in the MaineHealth system, which will make MaineHealth the parent organization of the hospital and the network, will allow FCHN to strategically partner with MaineHealth and its members to improve healthcare in the greater Franklin County area. “Membership will help Franklin Community Health Network maximize its delivery of care to patients, realize efficiencies and cost savings and ensure healthcare remains available in the area,” said Bill Caron, president of MaineHealth.
“By coordinating resources and collaborating on healthcare delivery, we’ll be able to deploy resources more effectively and better serve our community today, and well into the future, added Arsenault. “MaineHealth’s access to technology and specialists will help our hospital to more fully develop quality healthcare models. We’re thrilled to be bringing the resources of Maine’s premier health system to our community.”
As the two organizations begin the process, they will simultaneously prepare an application to the State of Maine for a Certificate of Need and request an antitrust review. No issues are anticipated during this process; the merger is expected to be completed by late 2014.
Membership provides a number of opportunities to work together to improve the health of the communities in the greater Franklin County region; strengthening the ability to provide high quality, safe patient care to the local communities, while striving to increase access to tertiary services and lowering healthcare costs.
Franklin Memorial Hospital has a history of collaborating with other members and affiliates of the MaineHealth system for well over a decade; including Maine Medical Center for cardiology and cardiovascular care, neonatal care at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center and MaineGeneral Health for oncology services.
About Franklin Community Health Network
Franklin Community Health Network was formed in 1991 as the parent entity for a system that would include a variety of affiliates and owned enterprises, most prominent among them a 65-bed, 84-year-old Franklin Memorial Hospital. Also included in this system are: Franklin Health physician practices representing more than 50 physicians and other clinicians who provide the vast majority of the region’s primary care and specialty practices; Evergreen Behavioral Services, an emergency mental health service; NorthStar, the region’s ambulance service; and Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County that is dedicated to prevention and health promotion. FCHN houses these diverse organizations, providing accounting and financial oversight, human resources, planning, facilities, maintenance, purchasing, and other administrative supports for all entities within its umbrella. www.fchn.org.
MaineHealth is a family of leading, high-quality health care providers dedicated to ensuring their communities are among the healthiest in America. As an integrated healthcare delivery system offering a comprehensive range of healthcare services for Southern, Central and Western Maine, MaineHealth is a group of organizations working together to make high quality healthcare accessible to all. Recognized as one of the top 100 integrated healthcare delivery systems in the country, member organizations of MaineHealth include Maine Medical Center, Lincoln County Healthcare, Western Maine Health, Southern Maine Health Care, Pen Bay Healthcare, Waldo County Health Care, Maine Mental Health Partners, HomeHealth Visiting Nurses, NorDx, Synernet, and Maine Physician Hospital Organization. Affiliates of MaineHealth include MaineGeneral Health, Mid Coast Health Services, St. Mary’s Health System, and New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland. www.mainehealth.org.
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