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Bristol Area Lions Club Welcomes Lincoln County Healthcare’s Jim Donovan 09/19/2013

Posted by DS in meetings, speakers.
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Bristol Lion Julie DeLong thanks CEO Jim Donovan for his update on changes in Lincoln County Healthcare.

Bristol Lion Julie DeLong thanks CEO Jim Donovan for his update on changes in Lincoln County Healthcare.

“Change is changing faster than change has ever changed before.” So paraphrased Lincoln County Healthcare CEO Jim Donovan during a recent presentation to the Bristol Area Lions Club. Since 1979, when he started in healthcare management, every major change in healthcare has been driven by changes in how hospitals are paid as well as by improvements in healthcare technology.

According to Donovan, who came to Lincoln County Health five years ago from Maine Medical Center, such technological advances have led to a decrease in inpatient care and a rise in outpatient care.

Other powerful forces driving change in healthcare are an emphasis on quality, which is measured rigorously, and patient choice, or consumerism. Thanks to the internet, patients are more informed about their conditions and treatment options and can now “shop” for care tailored to the individual.

Donovan also addressed how the upcoming Affordable Care Act, or Obama Care, will impact Lincoln County Healthcare and its users, emphasizing that those users should see a decrease in their healthcare costs and that hospitals should see an increase in their reimbursements from Medicare and MaineCare.

The merger of Miles and St. Andrews hospitals, scheduled for September 30, 2013, will allow Lincoln County Healthcare to maintain critical access hospital status. At that time, the Miles campus will become an inpatient facility for the county and the St. Andrews campus will become an outpatient Urgent Care Center.

Since critical care hospitals allow only 25 beds, the Miles campus will reduce to that number from its current 38 beds. Such proactive steps may seem radical, Donovan noted, but they will also allow Lincoln County Healthcare to provide sustainable services for the long term and make care more accessible and more affordable.

In the business meeting that followed Donovan’s talk, King Lion John Janell thanked all members who led fundraising events over the summer, and those who participated to make them successful. The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club, on Monday, October 7, will feature Amy Lent, director of the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. To make dinner reservations for that meeting please call 677-6191. To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, contact John Janell at 563-7402.

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