BRUNSWICK, Maine — The public will have a chance to weigh in on a merger between Parkview Adventist Medical Center and Central Maine Healthcare later this month.

Phyllis Powell, assistant director for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services, said the hearing will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Knights of Columbus Hall at 2 Columbus Drive in Brunswick.

The licensing office is considering a proposal by CMHC to take over control of Parkview Adventist Medical Center. On Wednesday, the office notified Mid Coast Hospital that a competing certificate of need proposal, which it had filed in its own bid to take over Parkview, is not subject to review under the state’s certificate of need law. However, Mid Coast Hospital spokesman Steve Trockman said the hospital intends to pursue its takeover through a provision in the law that requires the state to consider lower-cost alternatives when ruling on hospital mergers.

Powell said for that to happen, DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew would have to first reject CMHC’s certificate of need application before Mid Coast could come forward with another proposal. She said Mid Coast Hospital’s claim that absorbing Parkview could save the community money is “one of many factors” in the department’s decision.

“We don’t have two competing proposals,” said Powell. “We can only deal with the application that we have in front of us. We don’t tell hospitals who to merge with or who to have merger discussions with. That’s a community decision.”

Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.