The new facility will bring lower-cost, more convenient Out-patient care to the Mid-coast area.
TOPSHAM, Maine — Central Maine Healthcare is proposing a new ambulatory surgery center (ASC)—offering high-quality care in a less-expensive and more convenient outpatient setting—to serve Mid-coast Maine. Plans for the center, which will be located in Topsham, were revealed in a letter of intent filed with the state on May 8.
Developed in response to requests from patients, independent providers and insurers, the ASC will serve a region that currently lacks an outpatient alternative to more expensive in-hospital care. ASCs enable patients to receive routine surgeries and treatments without being admitted to a hospital and to return home the same day.
The ASC will offer care in breast health and surgical oncology, along with orthopedics, gastroenterology, urology and ear, nose and throat surgeries and procedures. The ASC will build on the success of the services of the nearby Topsham Care Center in Topsham Fair Mall and Maine Urgent Care, both operated by CMH.
“Our proposed ambulatory surgical center is all about our commitment to improving access to high quality care in the most innovative, convenient and cost-effective setting,” said CEO Jeff Brickman, FACHE. “This is really about the future of healthcare in Maine.”
The healthcare system’s letter of intent precedes a formal application for “certificate of need,” which CMH will file shortly. According to CMH, the facility will:
- Be housed in a 20,000 square-foot building with two operating rooms and four procedure rooms
- Be located near or adjacent to the Topsham Care Center and Maine Urgent Care
- Offer care from top-flight CMH providers
Nationally, costly in-hospital surgeries are projected to decrease over the next decade as patients increasingly turn to the convenience of high quality ambulatory centers. As the government and insurance companies scrutinize costs and push toward more value-based care, outpatient surgery is expected to increase by 11 percent in the next two years. The federal government has responded by adjusting Medicare payment policy to be more favorable regarding ASCs.
“Our goal is to provide top-quality care to people near where they live, work, shop and play,” Brickman said. “We’ve done that at the Topsham Care Center, with specialty services, diagnostics, radiology and cancer care. The new Topsham ASC expands those offerings for the people of Mid-coast Maine.”
Brickman stressed that plans for the ASC in Topsham were well underway before the COVID-19 outbreak struck Maine and that no resources have been or will be diverted from CMH’s response to the pandemic or its ongoing commitment to providing the highest levels of care at Central Maine Medical Center and other CMH facilities.
“Like hospitals throughout Maine and the nation, we have been focused on treating COVID-19 patients and dealing with the impact of the state shutdown,” Brickman said. “We look forward to returning to normal operations as soon as it is safe to do so. At the same time, we are committed to moving ahead with our plans to serve Maine people with high quality, convenient and cost-effective healthcare services.”
Brickman added that while the ASC will be operated and staffed by CMH, the actual $14 million facility will be financed and built by a private developer who will lease it back to CMH, greatly reducing the need for a large capital outlay.