Shore Regional Health has announced that it will prepare a modified Certificate of Exemption (COE) application to the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) to move inpatient behavioral health beds and services in 2021 from UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester to UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. If submitted and approved, the move would occur when the freestanding medical facility (FMF) opens in Cambridge in summer 2021.
Preparation of the modified COE is anticipated to take 60 to 90 days, with possible final approval by the Shore Regional Health and University of Maryland Medical System Boards to submit the COE in September 2019. After approval by the MHCC, construction of the inpatient unit at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown could begin, toward a 2021 opening.
The modified COE will affect only the behavioral health beds; plans remain in place for the Dorchester hospital’s medical-surgical beds to be relocated to Easton when the FMF opens in summer 2021.
This timeline also enables UM Shore Regional Health leaders and behavioral health providers to develop a staffing transition plan and work with community partners to develop an expanded network of outpatient community-based support services throughout the five-county region.
“We are grateful for the physicians, advanced practice providers and team members at Shore Behavioral Health who provide such compassionate, quality care for our patients,” said Ken Kozel, CEO. “Their dedication and healing work benefits patients under the most challenging circumstances.”
“Shore Regional Health’s Service Delivery Plan includes a commitment to join with our community partners to create a robust behavioral health continuum of integrated inpatient and outpatient services to serve the region. We are enthusiastic about the prospect of this plan and the positive impact it will have on health care in all five counties, including this opportunity, among others that may emerge in support of rural health care, to enhance the stability of inpatient services at Shore Medical Center at Chestertown,”said Kozel.
As part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is the principal provider of comprehensive health care services for more than 170,000 residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UM Shore Regional Health’s team of more than 2,500 employees, medical staff, board members, and volunteers works with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.