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2003 Press Releases

Final DHS Staff Report Recommends MMC/SMMC Radiation Therapy Proposal

(January 13, 2003) — The final staff report from the Department of Human Services Certificate of Need Unit staff, submitted to Commissioner of Human Services Kevin Concannon today, recommends approval of the proposal by Southern Maine Medical Center and Maine Medical Center for the Cancer Care Center of York County. This is the third step in a four-step regulatory process. The first two were a preliminary professional staff report and a recommendation from a citizen CON Advisory Committee. The final professional staff report is the third step before the Commissioner makes a final decision on the two competing proposals.

The CONU staff recommendation noted that the proposal presented by Southern Maine Medical Center and Maine Medical Center would provide "comprehensive cancer treatment services... allowing patient access to all services in York County", whereas the competing proposal by York/Goodall/Wentworth-Douglass hospitals would "require that simulation services for all patients be provided in Dover, New Hampshire, for an unknown period of time."

The CON staff recommendation also states that all participants in the SMMC/MMC proposal are accredited by the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer Care, that the SMMC/MMC proposal would be less expensive, and that SMMC and MMC "currently provide the majority of inpatient cancer care and radiation therapy to citizens of York County."

"We are gratified that the Certificate of Need Unit professional staff has recommended our proposal," SMMC president and CEO Ed McGeachey said. "This reaffirms our belief that cancer patients in York County will benefit most from a treatment center that is fully collaborative and open to all patients and all cancer care physicians, as well as a center where all the care is available at one site. We continue to extend the offer to York Hospital and Goodall Hospital to join with us as equal partners in the Cancer Care Center of York County. This is what makes the most sense and would provide the best care to the people of York County.

"This is yet another step in the regulatory process," he said, "and the final decision now rests in the hands of Commissioner Concannon. If he chooses the MMC/SMMC proposal, everyone wins. All cancer patients in York County will have more convenient access to the latest in cancer care center treatments close to home, and all cancer care physicians - as well as York and Goodall hospitals - will be welcomed as integral members of the Cancer Care Center of York County team. We all share the same goal: providing patients with the highest quality of cancer care."

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