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Maine EMS holds emergency meeting to address CMMC’s elimination of neurosurgery coverage

The state’s three trauma centers are slated to discuss the elimination further in two weeks.
The state’s three trauma centers are slated to discuss the elimination further in two weeks.(Gray tv)
Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 7:02 AM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WMTW) - The Trauma Advisory Committee for Maine Emergency Medical Services held an emergency meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss Central Maine Medical Center’s elimination of coverage for neurosurgery.

The virtual meeting was attended by roughly 60 providers as well as Central Maine Medical Group President Dr. John Krupp.

Members of the committee pressed Krupp for data on CMMC neurosurgeries for trauma patients, however Krupp said the group was not ready to share that information publicly.

“We’re just trying to prepare for what is potentially coming our way in terms of resources needed to support that added workload,” said Dr. Joseph Rappold of Maine Medical Center.

“In terms of being able to sit down with our information and discuss with a select group first, I think that that’s not an unreasonable request,” Krupp responded.

The committee approved a plan which states:

1) MDPB issue guidance to EMS clinicians for transport decisions to closest Regional

2) Neurosurgical trauma will not be transferred to CMMC

3) TAC will request small committee to review data from CMMC and encourage the TC’s to review data and convene a secondary meeting no later than 2 weeks to make recommendation to Board regarding inter facility transfer

“The shift gets placed on the other systems that are already at the brink or at capacity,” said Aaron White, a physician assistant and longtime EMS worker.

“The strain which existed before has already happened. We’ve already seen the edge pushed over,” White added, concerned the change could overwhelm Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and Maine Medical Center in Portland.

“The change is concerning, given the significant capacity challenges facing MMC and the state’s other health care providers. However, as the state’s only Level I trauma center, MMC continues to prioritize treating critical care patients,” read a statement from Maine Medical Center.

The only data shared Tuesday by CMMC is an estimate that 10% of their trauma patient volume requires neurosurgery.

The state’s three trauma centers are slated to discuss the elimination further in two weeks.

White believes legislation to require greater cooperation between regional health systems could be part of the solution so central Maine isn’t without coverage.

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