The state of Maine owes its hospitals $460 million in back Medicaid payments, and there is no specific solution in sight to obtain those funds, according to the Bangor Daily News.
The Maine Hospital Association is in talks with Gov. Paul LePage to open a special legislative session to address the debt, the article reported. The state would need to come up with $153 million to draw the required matching funds from the federal Medicaid program.
Many other states have cut Medicaid budgets in recent years, but most states have dropped enrollees or obtained waivers from the federal government to provide managed care services. By contrast, Maine simply limited payments to providers in recent years without trimming the Medicaid rolls.
"They can't afford the program. They've got too many people on the program so they just cap it in terms of what they pay us. We've got patients from five years ago we're waiting to be paid for," Main Hospital Association President Stephen Michaud told the newspaper.
Currently, Le Page's administration has applied for a federal waiver that would allow the state to cut 27,000 people from the Medicaid rolls, according to Maine Public Broadcasting.