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First Special Session of the 130th Legislature Adjourns, LTC Fares Well

The First Special Session of the 130th Legislature adjourned on Monday night, July 19th. Overall, long term care facilities fared well amidst the pandemic noise and competing legislative priorities. As previously reported, the State biennial budget includes $30 million in state MaineCare funds for LTC facilities. With the enhanced federal match in place until the end of this calendar year, MHCA estimates that it will result in approximately $120 million for nursing homes and PNMIs combined. MHCA staff is currently working with DHHS to determine how this funding will be distributed.

In addition to our budget success, five more MHCA legislative initiatives either passed or were carried over due to fiscal impact. None were voted down at the policy Committee level. The MHCA bill pertaining to CNA training was enacted (LD 784), while bills on bed-hold reimbursement (LD 1197), bed-banking (LD 250), health insurance as a fixed cost (LD 1112), and reimbursement to nursing facilities with high MaineCare use (LD 684) were carried over. Please note the bed-hold issue was addressed favorably in the biennial budget when the Appropriations Committee voted NOT to eliminate bed-hold payments. As such, it is likely that there will be no need for MHCA's bill when the Legislature returns.

As the session came to a close, there was limited funding available to the Appropriations Committee to fund all the remaining bills “on the table.” The decision to carry over certain pieces of MHCA legislation keeps the issues on the docket, which is preferable to having to file new legislation.

In total, MHCA tracked 64 bills, providing testimony or information as appropriate. Most of the legislation supported by MHCA was either enacted or carried over and all of the bills MHCA opposed, except for the budget, were defeated. Please see the MHCA End of Session Legislative Report for the comprehensive list of bills that MHCA tracked during the session, our position, and the final outcome.

Additionally, our lobbying team at PretiFlaherty provided the attached high level summary of the session.

Staff contact: ngrosso@mehca.org

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