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Maine Department of Health nd Human Services (DHHS) Proposes Changes to Reimbursement for Mental Health Providers

April 29, 2016

Maine’s mental health providers are concerned about potential changes to Maine’s reimbursement rate structure proposed by a consultant hired by Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The study was part of a compromise budget bill enacted by the legislature in June 2015. It examines reimbursements for a number of different services funded according to the rules listed in various sections of the MaineCare Benefits Manual. Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew said the rate study was performed to ensure that health and behavioral health services funded by taxpayers have appropriate costs. 

Mental health providers have indicated that while the studies include suggestions for both reimbursement increases and decreases, the overall effect will be that providers receive much less funding. The study examines and makes recommendations for decreases to Section 17 funding, which covers behavioral health services designed to promote community-based support services for people with psychiatric disabilities. Section 17 and other Sections fund supported employment services, which will impact services such as the Community Employment Services project.   

Mary Lou Dyer, director of the Maine Association of Community Service Providers, said that the mental health community is still “reeling from the proposal” and is reviewing the details. DHHS is still determining whether it is committed to the rate reductions proposed by the consultant. For more information, read the Bangor Daily news article, the Portland Press Herald article, or the consultant’s full report