Receiver Named to Operate Down East Community Hospital

AUGUSTA — Eastern Maine Health Systems was appointed as emergency receiver of Downeast Community Hospital Wednesday.

The Department of Health and Human Services and Down East Community Hospital filed the petition jointly in Kennebec Superior Court on Tuesday. Doug Jones, the former chief executive officer of Maine Coast Memorial, will be named the interim CEO at Down East Community Hospital.

Placing the hospital in receivership is an important step toward correcting deficiencies that have been identified at the hospital, in order for Medicare reimbursements to continue.

“We are very pleased that Eastern Maine Health Systems has agreed to step in and assume this responsibility,” said DHHS Commissioner Brenda Harvey. “We believe that they have the resources and the expertise necessary to lead the hospital through this process.

“By taking this action, the receiver and the leadership team at Down East Community Hospital can focus their energy on correcting the deficiencies identified in recent licensing surveys. Implementing approved, concrete steps that have been outlined in previous plans of correction will bring the hospital back in compliance with the standards of quality established by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and will allow the hospital to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.”

On Friday, CMS informed the hospital that as of July 10 Down East Community Hospital would no longer be able to receive Medicare reimbursements, because it no longer met the requirements for Medicare providers due to its failure to correct identified deficiencies. The receiver will now have the responsibility for implementing corrective actions and bringing the hospital into compliance.

“It is our hope that CMS, based on this action and the plan for implementation, will agree to extend the current funding termination date so that the hospital can continue to receive Medicare reimbursements,’’ Harvey said. “We want to assure the people of Washington County that we and EMHS are doing everything possible to ensure that services continue uninterrupted at Down East Community Hospital, and to ensure that the hospital provides quality services to its patients.”

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