Maine Department of Health and Human Services

Gov. Paul LePage has signed into law changes to child welfare legislation, which lawmakers approved last month in special session. The measures include spending millions of dollars more on the system.

The labor union that represents Maine’s child protective caseworkers has released 10 recommendations to improve the state’s child protection system.

BDN

For the second time in less than two months, the Legislature's Government Oversight Committee has voted to subpoena a high ranking official at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Two nurses and a Democratic lawmaker have filed suit against the LePage administration for failing to fill vacant public health nursing positions.

The lawsuit seeks a court order to force Maine's Department of Health and Human services to obey a law passed in 2017 that requires the department to fill all 48 public health nurse positions in the state.

Sarah DeCato, who worked as a Maine public health nurse from 2008 to 2014, says DHHS is not making an effort to hire anyone.

BDN

For months the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability, or OPEGA, has been investigating Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). 

The inquiry follows the death of two children at the hands of caregivers – Kendall Chick and Marissa Kennedy. On Sunday, Portland Press Herald journalist Eric Russell reported that caseworkers within the department feel restricted in their ability to help children

Maine Public

Gov. Paul LePage is crafting a bill that he says will improve Maine's child protection system.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Hundreds of Maine children with developmental disabilities are on a wait list to receive support services in their home. 

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services has overpaid nearly $2 million in food stamp benefits, and now the department is attempting to collect that money back from over 3,000 elderly and poor Mainers.

Such payment errors are not uncommon in other states, but the magnitude of this one is rare, and it comes amid the department’s effort to radically overhaul the state’s welfare system.

Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services wants to change eligibility and rates for certain MaineCare services. The Department contends that their proposals will ensure appropriate care at an appropriate cost.

But advocates for individuals with intellectual disabilities and mental illness say the changes jeopardize the future of critical services and those who need them.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Earlier this week, several mental health advocacy groups and lawmakers expressed concern over the process being used by the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a new statewide telephone response system for those with a mental health crisis.

They argued the process lacks specificity and safeguards. Commissioner Mary Mayhew says that isn't so.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has long opposed using state assistance for a group of people he often mischaracterizes as "illegal aliens." And during a town hall meeting Tuesday night in Bucksport, the governor offered up another example of what he says is welfare fraud being committed by a noncitizen.

Mal Leary / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Gov. Paul LePage says in the wake of a recent failed bid to qualify for federal certification, Riverview Psychiatric Center here should consider operating without it. Riverview lost its certification last September due to safety issues, and along with it about $14 million in federal funding, according to state estimates. The hospital has been working to improve ever since, but problems persist.