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June 25, 2020

Maine hospitals, doctors seek $120M in pandemic relief

Maine hospitals and doctors are asking the state for a total of $120 million in relief to make up for the massive losses they’ve experienced because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to Gov. Janet Mills, the Maine Hospital Association seeks $100 million while the Maine Medical Association wants $20 million.

Like the state’s tourism industry, which is seeking $800 million in relief from money Maine receives through the CARES Act, the health care groups are suggesting the use of federal funds.

In March, hospitals and doctors stopped providing nonemergency care due to the coronavirus crisis.

"We have surveyed our members and reviewed all available data and we are sure that in the aggregate, hospitals in Maine saw a reduction in their revenue of approximately 50% compared to the pre-COVID period," the associations wrote in their letter. "Furthermore, independent physician offices lost more than half of their revenue, and some as much as 90%, directly related to delayed care and cancelled appointments."

But the reduced use of medical services has meant less spending by MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid program. The groups are suggesting that Maine pay for their relief through MaineCare, in order to draw down matching federal dollars.

MHA represents Maine's 36 hospitals. MMA represents more than 4,000 physicians, of whom 1,377 are independent.

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