My bill, LD 488, a resolve directing the health and human services to develop a process to provide additional home-based and community-based services in the MaineCare program, is currently on the table awaiting resources. This is after it passed the House and was in the process of passage in the Senate.
Below is the text of the amended version of the bill, attached fiscal notes, and possible ways to pay for it.
I have a few ways to possibly fund the fiscal note that is attached to this bill in order to get this off the table.
#1: The state just received a grant of $21.2 million.
The grant is to be used to transform the system so that there is no wrong door for people trying to access home and community based support services, appropriate case management and standardized assessments all with the goal of increasing opportunities for people to live in the community and not have to enter institutions.
I guess to shoehorn LD 488 into this, I would say that changing the assessment process in a way that does not discriminate against people with higher than average medical needs would be an important goal. The current system only supports those with average or less than average needs to live in the community.
The current system will pay nursing facilities more than the average for high medical need people, but will not pay community providers more than the average for high medical need people.
#2: Another pot of money that the Department has is money from the “Money Follows the Person” grant. The goal of this program is to get people out of nursing facilities. The Department will be devising ways to support people living out of NFs long term.
So, DHHS really has two major grant programs each with the goal of supporting people to live in the community and not in nursing facilities. What better way to use this money than for this bill which seeks to do exactly that?
One possible thing to do is for the Appropriations Committee to insert text that states: “funding for this Act shall come from existing Departmental resources including funds available through the Money Follows the Person grant and the Balancing Incentive Payment Program grant.”
Below is the testimony during the public hearing process for LD 488:
Atienza, Tony, citizen
Chenette, Justin M. Maine State Legislature
Comart, Jack, Maine Equal Justice Partners
Delicata, Leo J., Legal Services for the Elderly
Fernald, Raima, parent
Gallant, Brenda, Maine Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
Hamilton, Ricker, DHHS Office of Aging and Disability Services
Hennessy, John, AARP
Lamb, Susan, National Association of Social Workers
Rice, Peter M., Disability Rights Center
Weise, Wendy, Hospice of Southern Maine