Sen. Raye Hopes Hospital Can Remain in Operation

MACHIAS — State Sen. Kevin Raye (R-Washington County), responding Friday to reports that effective July 10 Down East Community Hospital will no longer be reimbursed for treating Medicare patients, said efforts are under way to address the issue and keep the hospital open.

The key, he said, is to “change the administration.”

With a new CEO, Raye said, it is possible that the hospital will remain in operation and “won’t skip a beat.”

The decision by federal authorities to render Down East Community Hospital ineligible for reimbursements comes in the wake of quality of care shortcomings and community controversy.

Loss of Medicare eligibility is a potentially devastating prospect. Medicare provides hospitals with reimbursement for treating the elderly.

Raye said the hospital can take steps to “make sure there is no closure.”

“The current CEO would be impacted,” Raye said.

Wayne Dodwell is the president and CEO of the hospital.

Raye said state Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Brenda Harvey has been in talks with hospital and state officials to address the crisis. One strategy under consideration, he said, involves the hospital entering into a “receivership” arrangement with the state.

Calls to Down East Community Hospital for comment were not immediately returned Friday afternoon.

For more health news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.


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