The national trend of hospital systems merging or consolidating continues. The hospital and service members that make up MaineHealth in Portland, Maine, will be one nonprofit system beginning January 1. It will become a single nonprofit entity.
Maine Medical Center, Southern Maine Health Care, LincolnHealth, Coastal Healthcare Alliance, Western Maine Health, Franklin Community Health Network and Maine Behavioral Healthcare will all be governed by a single Board of Trustees but with local boards which will have input.
The major thrust of the initiative was to strength rural medicine in Maine and close by sections of New Hampshire. MaineHealth operates a dozen hospitals and healthcare services.
The new, combined entity will have approximately 19,000 employees and more than $3 billion in annual revenue.
It is the culmination of a two-year process. The inability to deploy resources across a system of free-standing member organizations had become a significant problem for community hospitals in recent years, as many came under increasing financial pressure because of changes in the way health care is being delivered.
“Unification strengthens Southern Maine Health Care from a healthcare delivery, financial and sustainable perspective,” said Nate Howell, CEO, Southern Maine Health Care said via a statement. “By bringing the members together, resources can now flow more easily between various parts of the healthcare system. We are proud to be part of a system that can provide all levels of care to our patients.”