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Vital Signs: Dueling rulings over Obamacare subsidies

The Affordable Care Act is no stranger to the court room. First came the U.S. Supreme Court challenge over the constitutionality of its key requirement that all Americans get health insurance or pay a penalty. More recently, the country’s highest court ruled that owners of some private companies can object on religious grounds to a provision […]

Vital Signs newsletter: Rare infection claims 2 Maine lives in 6 months

When a rare bacterial infection claimed the life of 18-year-old Benjamin LaMontagne in February, barely six months had passed since a Bangor mother died from the disease just shy of age 30. Both LaMontagne and Heather Nichols were young. Both appeared otherwise healthy. Both developed the rare, sudden infection, necrotizing fasciitis, just days after routine medical procedures. According to the U.S. […]

Vital Signs: Is your well water safe to drink?

When Loree Ross had a new well drilled several years ago at her home in Danforth, she ordered a full array of tests. She never expected the results: Her water contained an astounding 160 times the maximum safe level for arsenic. Ross was warned against even showering in her well water. “You can’t see it, you can’t […]

The hospital merger that wasn’t: CMHC sought partner

Central Maine Healthcare reached out last year to five other hospital organizations in the state to explore a partnership, the Sun Journal reports today. The system — which includes the flagship Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, along with Rumford Hospital and Bridgton Hospital — sought to gauge the other organizations’ interest in taking on CMHC […]

Vital Signs newsletter: MaineCare backlogged with applications

Maine refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but the program for low-income residents is growing anyway. Thousands of Mainers who were eligible all along but never signed up are now seeking coverage, amid publicity about new, more affordable health insurance options and the requirement that most Americans get insurance or pay a penalty. But […]

Vital Signs newsletter: Machias hospital CEO resigns

Doug Jones, who led Down East Community Hospital in Machias through a turbulent period following the death of a patient, has resigned as chief executive officer. Jones was named interim CEO after the state placed the hospital into receivership in 2009 and under the emergency control of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, oversight that ultimately lasted two years. DECH […]