Feds cut off Medicare payments to Maine hospital

The government has terminated its Medicare contract with Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Brunswick, Maine, which filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in June, according to The Forecaster.

The hospital, which has been struggling financially for years, closed its inpatient care facilities and emergency department June 18. The hospital has moved its emergency services to Brunswick, Maine-based Mid Coast Health Services — a system Parkview is attempting to merge with. However, Parkview is still offering outpatient services at its facility.

On June 19, CMS issued a termination notice to Parkview. The notice stated that, "No payment under this agreement can be made under the Medicare program for services rendered on or after June 18, 2015." The termination notice applied to reimbursement for both inpatient and outpatient services.

In not making payments for outpatient services, CMS "does a terrible disservice to the Medicare patients and the patient community...and may force (Parkview) to abruptly discontinue all medical services to the detriment of its patients," Parkview argued in a motion to compel CMS to keep payments flowing to the hospital for outpatient services.

CMS disagrees with the hospital's argument and claims Parkview is no longer considered a hospital under the Social Security Act because it no longer provides inpatient care, according to the report.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Peter Cary denied Parkview's motion to compel CMS to continue making payments on July 24. However, the battle over the funds is not over. George Marcus, an attorney representing Parkview, told The Forecaster that Parkview will now seek reimbursement for outpatient services through CMS "administrative remedies."

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