Archive June 2023

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Need strategies for supporting people experiencing grief and loss?

Need strategies for supporting people experiencing grief and loss?
When the work we do involves supporting others through illness, death, dying, grief and loss, we will undoubtedly be impacted in many ways.  Join us for this two-part webinar series to discuss various kinds of grief/loss, common responses, how to assess/evaluate self-care practices and more.
This program – Grief, Loss, Death & Dying: Caring for Ourselves while Caring for Others – will be hosted online (via Zoom) on August 23 & 24, 2023 from 1-3:00pm. For details, including information on how to register, you may click here to access the event page on our website.
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MaineCare Notice of Agency Rule-making Proposal, MaineCare Benefits Manual, Ch. III, Section 67, Principles of Reimbursement for Nursing Facilities

On June 21st,MaineCare gave rule-making notice of a proposal to amend MaineCare Benefits Manual, Chapter III, Section 67, for nursing facility Principles of Reimbursement. The Division of Policy posts all proposed and recently adopted rules on MaineCare’s Policy and Rules webpage. This website keeps the proposed rules on file until they are finalized and until the Secretary of State website is updated to reflect the changes.  The MaineCare Benefits Manual is available on-line at the Secretary of State’s website

You access the complete rule at

MHCA will be reviewing and providing testimony at the public hearing on July 11th at 9:00 am. Members are encouraged to reach out to Angela Westhoff, President/ CEO with any comments by July 7th. Written comments will be accepted until 11:59 pm on July 24th for any member who wishes to submit their own testimony.

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Thank You for Advocating: The Cap was Removed!

Good news! On Tuesday night, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee voted unanimously to remove the $4.8 million cap on the Extraordinary Circumstance Allowance (ECA). This means there is no longer an arbitrary limit, and the Department of Health and Human Services can allocate as much ECA support as it can within already allocated funds. 
Thank you to everyone who picked up the phone or emailed the AFA Committee members. Your voice sent a clear message that the cap was far too low and that nursing facilities need more support to continue providing quality care. 
We encourage you to follow up with the AFA members and thank them for listening and making this much-needed adjustment. 
The legislative session is not yet done! MHCA is working on additional priorities, such as LD 451 An Act to Ensure Transparent and Accountable Temporary Nurse Agencies and LD 1474 Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services to Expedite Reimbursement of Nursing Facilities. Those bills are currently on the special appropriations table, and we might reach out with other action alerts when the time comes. 
Lastly, thank you to those who already emailed Ben Hawkins to share that you contacted the AFA Committee. If you haven't yet, please email and let us know what you did for our grassroots records. 

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Community Action Program Training for Providers

How Community Action Programs can help you and your patients with housing, food, childcare and more. Megan Hannan, Executive Director of Maine Community Action Partnership will highlight the services and supports that 10 agencies offer throughout the state in this no cost 30-minute webinar on July 13, 2023, at 11:30 AM. Register here.

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Governor Mills in Press Herald Op-Ed: Why I’m Supporting Paid Family Leave

Governor Janet Mills announced this morning that she will sign a budget agreement that will create a new statewide paid family and medical leave program in Maine.

The Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved a budget proposal that includes legislation and funding to establish a paid family and medical program. The legislation included in the agreement reflects policy changes requested by the Governor to ensure the new program is tailored to meet the needs of Maine families and the Maine economy.

In her op-ed published in the Portland Press Herald today, Governor Mills said she “deeply and personally” understands the value of paid family and medical leave.

“I know firsthand the challenges of providing care to loved ones while trying to manage all the unexpected ups and downs that are simply facts of life. After all, I raised five stepdaughters (yes, five), helped look after my two aging parents, and cared for my late husband, Stan, after his debilitating stroke until his death in 2014 – all while working full time,” she wrote.

“Is this bill perfect? No,” the Governor continued. “But no compromise legislation ever is. With the changes adopted by the Legislature, however, I believe the bill strikes a balance that guarantees the benefits for working families in a way that is financially stable over the long term while avoiding significant hardship on the co-employees, employers, customers, and clients who depend on continuity and stability in our workforce and economy.”

The Governor added that, while she was still concerned about the added costs on Maine people, she has to “measure my concerns about those costs against the prospect of a referendum that would likely result in a payroll tax anyway – a tax that would be exacted in a way that is not responsive to the interests of Maine’s economy, Maine’s workforce, or our thousands of small businesses.”

“Recognizing that, and recognizing that a referendum is not the way we should consider this complicated policy proposal, I will sign the budget agreement that includes paid family and medical leave. While there is more to do to iron out more details during its implementation, this bill is an historic victory for working people and families across Maine,” she concluded. “It is my hope that implementing a paid family and medical leave policy in Maine that accommodates potential hardships for employers will make it easier for people to balance work with life’s unexpected challenges, like caring for a sick child or an aging parent, a change that will support our workforce and strengthen our economy in the long-term.”

In May, the Governor’s Office provided testimony on LD 1964, the legislation that would create a paid family and medical leave program, outlining specific policy changes that the Governor believed were necessary to create a program that would “balance the needs of both Maine people and the businesses that employ them.” Last week, the Maine Legislature voted to move that legislation forward with revisions that largely addressed the Governor’s concerns.

The budget proposal, including the paid family and medical leave legislation and funding, is expected to be considered by the Maine House and Senate in the coming days.

Read the complete text of the Governor’s op-ed.

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Easy to use Infection Control Micro-Learns

Are you interested in leading an infection control training for healthcare workers? Look no further than Project Firstline! They have developed comprehensive training resources suitable for all learning styles, allowing healthcare leaders to engage and educate their teams effectively.

With Project Firstline, incorporating their resources into your existing infection control training programs is a breeze. Whether you have just 5 minutes or a full 30 minutes, you can deliver a highly impactful training session with your team.
Utilize Project Firstline's concise and adaptable micro-learn training resources to educate your team on various infection control topics. These micro-learns consist of guided discussions that connect infection control concepts to immediate, practical value. By using these resources, healthcare workers will be able to recognize infection risks and take prompt action to prevent the spread of germs. Consider integrating these quick, in-person trainings into your next team meeting or huddle for maximum convenience.

Moreover, Project Firstline offers training toolkits specifically designed for leading live, or web-based training sessions with groups of healthcare workers. By utilizing these toolkits, you can help your team develop the skills to identify infection risks throughout their workday, understand where germs reside, and how they spread. Rest assured, you don't need to be an expert to lead an infection control training session because the resources in these toolkits will provide you with the necessary support and guidance every step of the way.  

Click here now to begin using these resources for your team.

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June 22, 2023 Legislative Update

This week, the legislature has been slowly making progress and voting on controversial bills, including expanded tribal rights and access to abortion, while also continuing negotiations on the biennial budget. The general desire among lawmakers is to complete their business by the end of this week. But that depends on the House and Senate agreeing on what must be achieved now versus saved for next year. We will keep members updated as negotiations continue. 

In addition to our focus on working with leadership to secure further funding for long term care, LD 938 An Act to Assist Nursing Homes in the Management of Facility Beds and LD 451 An Act to Ensure Transparent and Accountable Temporary Nurse Agencies - two MHCA priority bills - are on the special appropriations table to hopefully be funded. 

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MHCA Member Data Verification Forms emailed to members last week

To ensure our database information is up-to-date, members were emailed a copy of their respective data for review on June 15.
For providers and Associate Organizational members, this information is used in the association's annual Directory/Buyer's Guide, which will be published in conjunction with the Fall Health Care Conference & Expo (October 10-12 at Samoset Resort, Rockport).
If any of the information is incorrect and/or missing, please indicate the correct information and return by July 7. Forms may be returned either via fax 207.623.4080, email (, or mail (MHCA, 317 State Street, Augusta, ME 04330).
Special Note to Providers:
Please be sure to review the Levels of Care and respective bed size information which will be used in the calculation of dues. Also, for better communication on specific regulatory, education and special program events, we ask that you provide us with the names, titles and email addresses of the staff positions listed on the form.
If you have any questions or did not receive a form, please contact Dianne at the association office.
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Need help communicating across departments and disciplines?

Are you effectively utilizing the skills of your entire team?  Join us for our July 12th webcast. 

This webinar offers thought provoking approaches for bridging the gap between the goals of the rehab department and the mission and vision of your facility. Among other things, we will discuss ways for enhancing communication across departments and disciplines, leading to increased job satisfaction and higher quality of care for your residents.  
For more details, you may click here to visit the event page on our website.  

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MHCA enjoyed excellent turnout for Assisted Living Conference!

After hosting our annual Assisted Living Conference online for two years, it felt amazing to connect with members in-person last week. Based on the feedback we received on site and initial responses to our evaluation, overall, we are pleased with the outcome.
The first half of the conference focused on national and local assisted living trends, legislative activities, anticipated changes, financial best practices, and workforce development resources.  The afternoon offered best practices for having critical conversations as well as strategies for creating a great work culture and both inspiring and empowering your team to be their best. 
If you attended, and haven’t yet completed the evaluation, we hope you will take the time to give your input on our survey. Your feedback, good or bad, is incredibly valuable to us as we fix our eyes on ways to grow and enhance the attendee experience at future events.   
Thank you so much for your continued support for MHCA programs.
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