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Updated: August 5, 2022

Maine pledges $25M in pandemic relief for long-term care organizations

Some 211 long-term care organizations in Maine will share $25 million in new state funding aimed at helping them recover from the pandemic, Gov. Janet Mills announced Thursday.

Mills proposed the payments from Medicaid, known as MaineCare, in her supplemental budget passed by state lawmakers with bipartisan support.

Additionally, Maine's Department of Health and Human Services is increasing flexibility in the use of those and other funds for fuel and other expenses.

“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,” Mills said in her announcement. “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.” 

The 211 grant recipients represent 272 service locations across the state.

The $25 million is to 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, DHHS will use revenue from a more recent 12-month period to determine supplemental payment distribution amounts by facility.  

The department is also informing long-term care facilities about greater flexibility on the uses of one-time funding to return to solid footing from the pandemic and combat various rising costs. That flexibility applies to the new $25 million and 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.  

“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 DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. “The grants are part of unprecedented support for these facilities that not only recognizes their critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic but reflects Gov. Mills’ commitment to making high-quality long-term services and supports affordable and accessible for Maine residents.” 

Mills, a Democrat, is running for reelection this November against Republican Paul R. LePage, Maine's governor from 2011 to 2019.

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