Maine DHHS Issues $25 Million to Maine Hospitals to Support COVID-19 Recovery


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10/20/2022 12:26 PM EDT

AUGUSTA— The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced today that it has issued $25 million to Maine hospitals in the latest round of funding to support their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and address ongoing challenges such as workforce recruitment and retention.

Governor Mills proposed the one-time MaineCare payments as part of her FY22 supplemental budget which the Legislature passed with bipartisan support. DHHS issued the payments to Maine hospitals on Wednesday to help them address pandemic-related costs, building on the Mills Administration’s significant financial support for hospitals.

“When the pandemic tested Maine hospitals, they rose to the challenge to take care of Maine people. Now, with ongoing challenges, this investment will advance their recovery and help to ensure that they can continue to deliver the quality care that Maine people expect and deserve,” said Governor Janet Mills.

“This funding will help Maine hospitals continue to recover from the pandemic while providing the high-quality care that Maine people count on,”said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. “The payments recognize hospitals’ extra work during the COVID-19 pandemic when hospitalizations surged as well as Governor Mills’ commitment to rebuilding and expanding Maine’s health care workforce to ensure access to hospital care for all Maine people.”

“Maine hospitals are beyond thankful to the Governor and Legislature for hearing our plea for help,” said Steve Michaud, President of the Maine Hospital Association. “Hospitals are under unprecedented financial pressures related to inflation, labor shortages and the ongoing COVID pandemic. This influx of money couldn’t come at a more perfect time and will help us to continue to care for both our patients and caregivers alike.”

Hospitals received payments from the $25 million proportional to their pre-pandemic MaineCare revenue. With this week’s payment, the Department has directed over $75 million in COVID-19 supplemental payments to Maine hospitals throughout the pandemic. Additionally, the federal government has directly made funding available to Maine hospitals, for a total of over $600 million. This includes:

The Mills Administration has also provided operational and workforce to support to Maine hospitals in response to the pandemic, including:

  • In 2021 and 2022, deploying a total of 230 members of the Maine National Guard to help maintain critical care during COVID-19 surges, such as by administering monoclonal antibody treatments, caring for people convalescing from COVID-19 in special units, and providing nutrition and other supports for hospital staff.
  • In 2021 and 2022, securing Federal clinical staff to complement the non-clinical work of the Maine National Guard in hospitals.
  • From 2020 to 2022, mobilizing the Maine Responds Emergency Health Volunteer System that organizes health care, public health, and volunteers to respond to emergency situations and engaging 50 clinicians to serve in hospitals during surges to help administer therapeutic treatments for COVID-19
  • Starting in 2021, providing flexibility for acute-care hospitals to use Critical Access Hospitals to alleviate capacity constraints.
  • Starting in 2021, the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan has started investing $20 million in health care workforce initiatives such as supporting hospital-based training programs, a loan repayment program for physicians, and numerous initiatives to train more nurses.