For decades, Eastern Maine Medical Center has successfully operated a high quality dialysis program for patients living with kidney failure, growing the program, in recent years, from one outpatient center to three. Because the service is so highly specialized and heavily regulated, however, it is a difficult service for hospitals to manage. In fact, today, less than five percent of dialysis programs in the United States are hospital-owned and operated and EMMC is one of the last remaining hospital programs in Maine. Over many months and many conversations we have become convinced our dialysis program will be most successful if it is owned and operated by an organization that does only dialysis and on a much larger scale than we do.
EMMC has been involved in an extensive process, during which multiple dialysis providers were interviewed. We have now entered into a preliminary agreement for the sale of EMMC’s dialysis program to a nationally known and highly regarded organization called DaVita. DaVita owns and operates dialysis centers throughout the United States and has the expertise, scale and focus to provide the same proven, “best in class” dialysis care to the patients of our region that it is known for elsewhere. We are convinced DaVita’s culture and values are a good fit with our own, and are centered on providing high quality, best practice dialysis care to patients, and a productive and satisfying professional experience for staff.
The intention is for the transaction to be seamless for patients. The same physicians will provide medical direction at the centers, and staff members will have the opportunity for employment with DaVita, in accordance with DaVita’s standard hiring practices. The due diligence process is underway and if all goes well a final agreement may be reached later this spring.
Eastern Maine Medical Center leadership and those leading the dialysis program at EMMC are excited about the prospects for this development and we are currently sharing the news with our employees and patients. We’ll have more information to share with the public once that process is complete later this week.