Legislators begin work on bills impacting LTC

The first few weeks of the legislative session is typically slow, and that has been generally true for this year's 129th Session.  As expected, Governor Mills' appointments have all been confirmed by the Maine State Senate.  Now, the first bills impacting long term care providers are beginning to be heard by the Health and Human Services Committee.   This week, public hearing was held on LD 177, which calls on the State to provide funding and other support for up to sixteen specialized nursing home beds dedicated to bariatric care.  Locations for these beds were not specified, but Committee members expressed a desire to ensure regional availability of services.  MHCA joined the Maine Hospital Association, the Long Term Care Ombudsman, and others in calling for the State to provide necessary support for facilities that take on this responsibility.  The HHS Committee will resume discussion on the bill next week.  To read the full bill click here.
LD 363, An Act to Protect Residents of Assisted Living Facilities, has not received its public hearing yet. Despite the bill title, this legislation would apply to assisted living and nursing homes.  According to the printed summary, it “requires nursing facilities and assisted living and residential care facilities that provide services to a person who requires assistance with activities of daily living to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation or use an automated external defibrillator in the event of a suspected sudden cardiac arrest unless the person has made a health care decision that includes an order not to resuscitate.”  For the full text of the bill click here.
Public hearing on LD 363 will be held on February 20th.  In past years, MHCA has opposed similar bills that would have mandated the availability and use of defibrillators in nursing homes.  We are currently reviewing the language of LD 363 prior to taking a formal position. 
Finally, the much anticipated release of the Governor's budget proposal is expected later today (Friday).  
Staff Contact:
Rick Erb, President and CEO