AUGUSTA—A bill from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, to increase funding for nursing homes will become law in January, according to a letter from the governor’s office. The bill – LD 1758, “An Act To Clarify and Amend MaineCare Reimbursement Provisions for Nursing and Residential Care Facilities” – increases reimbursement rates for nursing home facilities to ensure access to care in both rural and nonrural areas.
“Maine is an aging state. We need quality, affordable elder care services to ensure our seniors can remain active in our families and communities. However, nursing homes have struggled to keep their doors open all across the state – many have even closed their doors, displacing the seniors in their care,” said President Jackson. “I introduced this legislation to increase funding for our nursing homes because seniors shouldn’t have to leave the communities they call home to get the care they need. It was carefully crafted to ensure we support our seniors without threatening other Medicaid programs. While this bill only closes the gap, it’s a step in the right direction.”
LD 1758 received strong bipartisan support in both the Senate and House earlier this year but was held by the governor’s office due to concerns over federal funding. After further review, both the Department of Health and Human Services and the governor’s office no longer have these concerns because existing statute ensures Maine won’t hit the upper payment limit.
LD 1758 will become law on Jan. 11, three days after the Legislature reconvenes for the second regular session.