Maine Hospitals Seek Millions In Assistance To Make Up For Losses Tied To Pandemic
Maine Hospitals and physicians are the latest to warn that they will need financial help because of losses tied to the coronavirus pandemic. Hospitals are asking the state for $100 million in assistance, while independent physicians are seeking $20 million.
Signups for coverage under the Affordable Care Act began November 1st and end December 15th. Experts expect fewer people to enroll this year as more sign up for MaineCare instead. Also, several thousand people who currently have ACA insurance will be automatically switched to MaineCare (Medicaid.) We’ll discuss the new landscape for medical insurance coverage in Maine.
Rural hospitals across the country say they are being been hurt by increased costs and inadequate Medicaid reimbursement rates. Maine’s rural hospitals are facing the same pressures, and state lawmakers are considering a bill to ease financial woes.
Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills has ordered a full audit of the state Medicaid program. The review will look into everything from where money is being spent to whether particular programs are effective.
It's not just law enforcement that is lamenting the lack of funding for treatment of substance use disorders. A 16-bed residential treatment center in Portland is ending its program Friday due to fiscal challenges.
Gov. Paul LePage once called the center, Serenity House, a model for treatment. But Serenity House's executive director says insufficient state reimbursements and restrictions on the number of treatment beds forced the program to end.
A lawsuit that seeks to force Maine's health commissioner to implement Medicaid expansion is now before the state Supreme Judicial Court.
The LePage administration has appealed a lower court's order to start the process. But consumer advocacy groups have filed arguments against further delays for the law that's supposed to take effect in less than two weeks.
The LePage administration said Monday that it will fight a state judge's order directing the Governor to file paperwork to expand Medicaid services, despite the fact that Medicaid expansion was approved by Maine voters last year.
After the school shooting in Florida this week, President Trump vowed to “tackle the difficult issue of mental health.” But the president's proposed budget would cut many programs that provide mental health services.
President Trump's proposed budget does include some increases in funding for mental health. However, Dale Hamilton of Community Health and Counseling Services, says the overall takeaway for Maine is that “President Trump's budget will not advance access to mental health services.”