Legislative Update

The Health and Human Services Committee voted ought not to pass on two bills that MHCA had previously testified on with some concerns. Those bills were LD 1099, An Act to Protect Vulnerable Populations in Residential Facilities from Extended Power Outages and LD 781, An Act to Protect Nursing Home Residents by Requiring Nursing Homes to Provide Silent Bed Alarms for Residents with Dementia. 

Additionally, the HHS Committee voted ought to pass as amended to LD 938, An Act to Assist Nursing Homes in the Management of Facility Beds. As amended, this bill restores the ability of nursing facilities to voluntarily reduce the number of their licensed beds and then later increase the number of their licensed beds to the prior level after obtaining a certificate of need and meeting certain conditions. The bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services to include in its calculation of reimbursement for services provided by a nursing facility the cost incurred by the facility for a medical director and removes the $10,000 annual cap. MHCA testified in support of this bill and will continue to monitor its progress. 

Angela Westhoff is testifying on LD 1474, Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services to Expedite Reimbursement of Nursing Facilities at the HHS Committee hearing today, April 20. This bill originated from our Legislation Committee and would require the Department of Health and Human Services to amend its rules in Chapter 101: MaineCare Benefits Manual, Chapter III, Section 67, Principles of Reimbursement for Nursing Facilities, to require the department to reimburse at least 75% of a nursing facility's costs pursuant to the facility's cost reports within 90 days of receipt. At the same hearing, Angela is also testifying on LD 1037 and LD 1521. 

Staff contact: