Citing increased financial challenges, a nonprofit agency that provides in-home care services for just under 600 older Mainers and adults with physical disabilities announced that it will be closing its doors at the end of April.
The agency has primarily focused on delivering services to low income residents who receive MaineCare. Newel Auger, an attorney for Home Care for Maine, says the lack of an increase in theMaineCare reimbursement rate to compensate for the hike in the state minimum wage, along with other government mandates and a shortage of workers, has left the provider with no other option but to close.
“If you're losing as much as 50 cents an hour for every hour of work you're providing, or hour of service, there's no way any business, for profit or otherwise, can stay in business at that rate.”
Auger says most of it's employees will likely be able to find work with other agencies, but the bigger concern is finding services for it current clients.
“And we are working very hard to transition those folks to other agencies but that is not going to be easy because a lot of these other agencies aren't in a position to take on MaineCare members when they're losing 40 or 50 cents are hour for that work.”