Strong Support for Merger at Public Hearing
Business and community leaders show strong support for Mayo/Northern Light Health merger at DHHS hearing
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) held a public hearing in Dover-Foxcroft today to gather public input on the certificate of need application (CON) filed by Northern Light Health regarding its planned merger with Mayo Regional Hospital. The Dover-Foxcroft hospital seeks to join with Northern Light Health to preserve local access to healthcare for people in the Piscataquis County region. The certificate of need is the process by which the parties can make their case to the state for why the merger is needed.
“We are financially challenged in fulfilling our mission to provide high-quality, compassionate healthcare to those who live and work in our communities,” Marie Vienneau, president, and CEO of Mayo Regional Hospital explained, “Mayo Regional Hospital, like many rural hospitals in Maine and the country, has experienced financial operating losses for many years, caring for an aging population with a variety of chronic diseases and getting reimbursed less from Medicare and Medicaid than it costs to provide that care.”
Several people testified in support of the merger including business leaders, state and local elected officials, and Mayo employees. Leaders for Mayo and Northern Light Health believe a merger would allow Mayo to provide continued access to high-quality local care by joining an integrated healthcare system. “We know that consolidation reduces costs and improves quality,” explained Matt Weed, chief strategy officer, Northern Light Health, “We already have a long-standing relationship with Mayo Regional Hospital, and we can build upon that relationship by coming together in a more formal relationship.”
Mayo Regional Hospital, which is owned and governed by a hospital administrative district (HAD #4), received legislative approval to merge with Northern Light Health last June. Mayo and Northern Light Health are hoping to have a decision from DHHS on the certificate of need before the end of the year.
We already have a long-standing relationship with Mayo Regional Hospital, and we can build upon that relationship by coming together in a more formal relationship.
- Matt Weed