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April 28, 2022

Maine to award $11M for home- and community-based care

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services said it will award $11 million in federal funds to home- and community-based service providers to help older adults and people with disabilities continue to live in their own communities.

Of this amount, DHHS plans to award $5 million to care providers to support their compliance with federal and state rules requiring that people with disabilities have the same access to services as those who don't have disabilities.

The MaineCare funding will help providers make changes to their policies, procedures and facilities by a federal deadline in March 2023.

The $5 million represents an increase of $3 million from the amount the department originally proposed. Pending federal approval for the increase, DHHS expects to award the full $5 million in June.

The money will support a broad range of community and work assistance for older adults and people with intellectual and physical disabilities, brain injury, and autism under MaineCare.

Second, the Department is seeking federal approval to use the same American Rescue Plan funding for a one-time $6 million payment to support group homes for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

DHHS is pursuing the MaineCare payment to these providers in recognition of the significant toll of the pandemic on their operations and to support them in maintaining safe staffing levels.

“This latest round of support will bolster providers at a critical time as they recover from the pandemic and work toward changes that help advance health, independence, well-being, and fulfillment for Maine people living with disabilities,” said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. “It also recognizes the valuable work of direct support staff who continue to provide compassionate and high-quality care that enriches lives in homes and communities throughout Maine.”

The move follows about $120 million in recruitment and retention payments DHHS issued in February and March to home- and community-based services agencies for bonuses to more than 20,000 direct support workers. 

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