June 14. 2013 9:49AM

MaineHealth proposes affiliation with North Conway hospital

CONCORD – MaineHealth of Portland is proposing to take over Memorial Hospital in North Conway, according to New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph A. Foster.

If the proposed transaction is completed, MaineHealth, based in Portland and which includes Maine Medical Center and Southern Maine Medical Center among other medical facilities, will become the sole corporate member of memorial Hospital with ?certain reserved powers over Memorial Hospital's governance and operations,? according to a news release.

Anthony I. Blenkinsop, director of the state's Charitable Trusts, explained if the proposal goes through, Memorial Hospital would remain a stand alone non-profit corporation, but MaineHealth would have extensive authority over its operation and its board of directors.

It is the second hospital proposed affiliation announced this week. On Monday Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health and New London Hospital Assn. submitted a proposed affiliation.

Blenkinsop said he believes the proposed affiliations are hospitals trying to position themselves to operate in the changing healthcare field, that is under the Affordable Care Act commonly referred to as Obamacare.

He said these are the only two proposed affiliations he is aware of but he ?would not be surprised to see others.?

The Charitable Trusts Unit will conduct a review of both proposals in accordance with state law.
Prior to making a final determination, the director must accept input from any member of the public wishing to comment on the proposed affiliations.

Public comments should be sent to the director of Charitable Trusts via letter or email, with the subject line ?Memorial Hospital/MaineHealth Proposed Affiliation? or ?Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health/New London Hospital Assn.? and sent to Charitable Trusts Unit, 33 Capitol St., Concord, NH 03301 or emailed to charitabletrusts2@doj.nh.gov .