FARMINGTON, Maine – Franklin Memorial Hospital (FMH) is excited to announce its intent to apply for critical access hospital (CAH) status, marking a significant step towards ensuring future financial sustainability and the ability to provide high-quality care to our rural community. This strategic decision aligns with our commitment to addressing the changing needs of our community and maximizing the resources available to us.
By applying for CAH status, Franklin Memorial Hospital will benefit from increased federal reimbursement for the true cost of delivering care. As a rural health care provider, FMH faces unique challenges in providing services to our community. This change will ensure that our hospital receives appropriate financial support, allowing us to sustainably offer essential health care services to our patients.
As part of this transition, Franklin Memorial Hospital will apply for a new hospital license and decrease its official bed count from 65 to 25, per CAH guidelines. This change allows FMH to optimize its operational efficiency and focus on providing patient-centered care in our community. The daily patient census currently hovers around 25, so the decrease in bed count will have little to no effect on day-to-day hospital operations. It will not limit access nor be a downgrade for the facility. In fact, the reduced bed count will further encourage FMH to strengthen partnerships with other health care providers in the community. By collaborating with outpatient clinics, home health care agencies, and other facilities, the hospital will create a network of care that ensures patients receive appropriate treatment at the right level of care and enhance access to health care services for the community it serves.
“Transitioning to Critical Access Hospital status is a vital step for the future of Franklin Memorial Hospital,” said Barbara Sergio, president of Franklin Community Health Network, which includes FMH. “It will empower us to adapt to the evolving health care landscape, improve our financial stability, and continue delivering exceptional care to our rural community. This decision underscores our unwavering commitment to patient-centered health care and positions us for continued growth and success.”
The decision to pursue Critical Access Hospital status reinforces FMH’s dedication to meeting the needs of our rural community and ensuring access to high-quality care close to home.
Franklin invites the community to a public forum on June 28, 2023, from 5-6 pm in the Bass Room at FMH. The forum will include an overview of CAH status, what it means for Franklin, and a question and answer session.
Franklin Community Health Network is a nonprofit, integrated network of rural health care providers, created by Franklin Memorial Hospital in 1991. Its affiliates include Franklin Memorial Hospital, Franklin Health, Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County, and NorthStar EMS. It is a part of the MaineHealth family of local health systems.
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit integrated health system whose vision is, “Working together so our communities are the healthiest in America.” It consists of nine local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and more than 1,500 employed and independent physicians working together through the MaineHealth Medical Group. With approximately 22,000 employees, MaineHealth provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. It includes Franklin Memorial Hospital/Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington, LincolnHealth in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Maine Behavioral Healthcare in South Portland, MaineHealth Care at Home in Saco, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H., Mid Coast-Parkview Health in Brunswick, NorDx in Scarborough, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital in Rockport and Belfast, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and Sanford, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook and Stephens Memorial Hospital/Western Maine Health Care in Norway. MaineHealth Affiliates include Maine General Health in Augusta and Waterville, New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. It is also a significant stakeholder in the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization in Portland.