Friday, August 28, 2015

You can trust us with your health-care; we’re not like all the others…..

Welcome to the great local mystery that is our health care provider future:


We don’t know about you, but we’ve had a bad feeling about the future of Parkview Hospital (PAMC) for some time.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Side have been clients of a family practice on the Parkview campus for nearly twenty years, and this correspondent has had a specialist affiliated with the hospital that long as well.

Several years back, all of the above practitioners became employees of Parkview, which at the time, seemed like nothing more than a sign of the times.  From what we could tell, it was welcomed by the Doctors and their staffs, since if freed them from the burdens of managing a private practice, and all the paperwork associated with billing and the rest.  Their offices appeared to run more smoothly after the change in ‘business arrangements.’


When talk of a PAMC bankruptcy surfaced some months back, our vague ‘bad feeling’ escalated to something more visceral; a sense that the first of an indefinite number of dominos was about to fall.  We tried to stay our chipper selves, but it wasn’t working too well.  We’re at a point in our life where we like our health care situation to be as stable as possible, especially since we’ve become comfortable with our Doctors, and have confidence in them.


Then the bad feeling took on a more pronounced cast when the bankruptcy and proposed merger were actually announced.  We fixed our editorial ear to the ground, listening for more shoes dropping.

Sure enough, soon we had a letter telling us that our specialist, whom we had carefully trained over the years, would ‘no longer be available to us,’ whatever that was supposed to mean.

Mrs. Side, however, had occasion to visit her GP, and was told things would stay pretty much the same in their office, and the labs and such at Parkview would stay in place.  Since our GP was in the same office, we breathed a sigh of some relief.  We had heard the PAMC Emergency Room would shut down, but that didn’t cause us much concern; conversely, it sounded like the outpatient procedure facility, with which we are quite familiar, would continue to operate.

Now for more recent news and pronouncements from the newly merged operation.

First, we found this just last week (published on 20 August) here:

The hospital’s “pre-packaged” bankruptcy plan involves merging with nearby Mid Coast Hospital to form a new Mid Coast-Parkview Health System.

Since then, Mid Coast President and CEO Lois Skillings and Parkview President Randee Reynolds have made presentations to local town councils, community groups and chambers of commerce to explain their new “vision.”

The two hospital executives led a presentation and question-and-answer session Tuesday night for a crowd of about 40 at the Topsham Public Library.

Reynolds said the new Mid Coast-Parkview will streamline by moving all emergency and acute care to the Mid Coast campus, a process already underway, and turning Parkview into a walk-in clinic and primary-care center, with some oncology and lab units. (emphasis ours)

We should have known, we suppose, that as soon as the “vision” word came into play, we were in big trouble.


Sure enough, we were.  On 26 August, less than a week later, the Ostrich carried this report:


So the initial spin wasn’t even good for a week;  it had the shelf life of a baloney sandwich left out on the counter.


It appeared, judging from their ‘vision’ so far, that the newly formed entity is near-sighted.


We expect it won’t be long before they have us all cross-eyed.


Even if they’re not like all the others.  Because a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

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