Update on Public Hearing for the Biennial Budget
Angela Westhoff, MHCA President/CEO and Wanda Pelkey, MHCA Board Chair both testified before the Joint Standing Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee and the Health and Human Services Committees. MHCA's testimony expressed appreciation for the $25 million in the Supplemental Budget as well as the current LTC measures in the proposed Biennial Budget, but noted that these measures do not go far enough to close the significant funding gap between the cost of providing care and MaineCare reimbursement.
The Biennial Budget includes $47 million for cost-of-living increases for LTC and $29 million for rebasing in FY 2025 for nursing homes. It also includes $10 million for high MaineCare utilization payments for Private Non-Medical Institutions (PNMI-Appendix C). While this is a good start, it does not adequately address the year over year structural shortfalls in reimbursement rates. It also does not provide any new resources to address rate reform investments slated to begin in 2025.
Last week, MHCA distributed an action alert calling on members to submit written testimony to the two committees. Even though the public hearing has passed, you can still upload written testimony to the legislature's on-line portal for the next several days. Instructions noted below.
No work sessions have been scheduled for LD 258.
How to Submit Your Testimony:
- Visit https://www.mainelegislature.org/testimony/
- Click “public hearing”. A drop-down menu will appear, choose a committee. You will select: Appropriations and Financial Affairs.
- Next choose the date: February 22, 2023 at 10:00 am.
- Then Choose the Bill: LD 258, An Act Making Unified Appropriations and Allocations from the General Fund and Other Funds for the Expenditures of State Government and Changing Certain Provisions of the Law Necessary to the Proper Operations of State Government for the Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 2023, June 30, 2024 and June 30, 2025.
- Then choose the file on your computer containing your testimony.
- Complete the questions including Name, City/ Organization, email, phone number, etc. and check off “I'm not a robot” and then hit the “Submit/ Register” button.