$25 Million in COVID-19 Payments Issued to Long-Term Care Providers
“Long-term care facilities provide critical services for Maine people, and they are still feeling the impacts of the pandemic – challenges that have only been made more difficult by inflation,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I am proud the Legislature supported my proposal to provide additional funding, and I am pleased we are getting these resources into the hands of our caregivers quickly so they can continue to do their important work – it could not come at a better time.”
“This injection of funding will help long-term care facilities offset unexpectedly high costs such as contract staff, food, and other pandemic-related expenses,” said Jeanne Lambrew, Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services. “The grants are part of unprecedented support for these facilities that not only recognizes their critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic but reflects Governor Mills' commitment to making high-quality long-term services and supports affordable and accessible for Maine residents.”
“Today's announcement is welcome news as Maine's long-term care facilities and their dedicated caregivers continue to feel the impact of COVID-19,” said Angela Westhoff, President and CEO of the Maine Health Care Association. “We appreciate Governor Mills' recognition of the persistent strain on providers and are thankful that additional resources are being distributed. We are also pleased with the Administration's response to our request for greater flexibility in the use of these funds with respect to labor costs, as our members persevere to provide care to thousands of vulnerable Maine citizens each day.”
The 211 organizations receiving grants represent 272 service locations throughout the state. The $25 million will be distributed proportionally based on each facility's 2019 MaineCare revenue and total MaineCare bed days in 2021. For facilities that received little to no MaineCare revenue in 2019, the Department will use revenue from a more recent 12-month period to determine distribution of the supplemental payment amounts by facility.
The Department is also informing long-term care facilities about greater flexibility on the uses of one-time funding to help them recover from the pandemic and combat rising costs associated with inflation. This includes addressing pandemic-related cost increases of hiring and retaining staff and higher expenses, such as for food, fuel, and energy bills. This flexibility applies to the new $25 million announced today as well as to any remaining funds from last year's $123 million one-time COVID-19 supplemental payments to nursing facilities, residential care facilities, and adult family care homes.
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