Maine nursing homes face over $96M shortage, potential closures

As Maine nursing facility closures continue, the state has lost 23 nursing homes in less than 10 years, with nine of the closures happening since 2020.

"The FY 2022 as-filed cost reports for nursing homes show a shortfall of $96.5 million between reimbursement and allowable costs," Angela Westhoff, president and CEO of Maine Health Care Organization, said in a statement shared with Becker's

While there have been one-time supplemental payments to close portions of the gap, Ms. Westhoff said the closure rates indicate these payments aren't sufficient.

Low workforce levels also remain a challenge for nursing homes hoping to stay afloat.

"We estimate that between 10 and 15% of direct care workers left the sector during the pandemic. Despite long term care facilities' best efforts to recruit and retain workers, the work force crisis persists. The lack of workers coupled with Medicaid reimbursement rates that have not kept pace with the increased costs of providing care is causing facilities to reach a breaking point. There have been approximately 50 closures or conversions of long term care facilities since 2012," Ms. Westhoff said.

Ms. Westhoff said these trends should concern policymakers, and urged them to take action. 

"In a state that has the oldest median age in the country, without meaningful investments, access to long term care supports and services will continue to decline," she said. 

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