Northern Light Mercy Hospital of Portland has filed a certificate of need application with the state in anticipation of relocating its hospital operations from State Street to a newer campus on Fore River Parkway.

Maine requires a certificate of need to make sure that hospital expansion projects are necessary and would not duplicate services or increase health care costs. Applications are reviewed by the state Department of Health and Human Services in a process that generally takes four to six months.

The department generally has approved all certificate of need applications, although some expansion or renovation plans have been scaled back after review.

“On the heels of celebrating 100 years serving the community, this crucial next step will help ensure that we deliver the next century of care in a facility that provides convenient access to more of our services in one location,” Charlie Therrien, Mercy’s president, said in a statement. “We’re excited to enter this next phase so that we can get shovels in the ground.”

A certificate of need application is an important step in the state regulatory process for all hospital and health care facility projects with capital expenditures exceeding a certain cost threshold.

Phase one of Mercy’s Fore River campus consolidation project was completed in 2008, and the completion of the regulatory process, planning and construction for the final phase is expected to take roughly three years.

A request for proposals process for the sale of Mercy’s State Street property is currently underway, and the selection of a developer is expected early next year.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @jcraiganderson

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