AUGUSTA — Governor Janet Mills and Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew announced a grant program to support health care organizations that serve residents with MaineCare and sustain vital health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Backed by $30 million in Federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF), the Maine Health Care Financial Relief Program is a new opportunity modeled on the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development’s (DECD) Maine Economic Recovery Grant program.
Beginning Dec. 1, health care organizations that were ineligible for funding under the Maine Economic Recovery Grant program may apply for the new grants.
These include hospitals and nursing facilities of any size, as well as congregate care, behavioral health, community service providers, and other providers with more than 250 employees. Health care organizations must have served MaineCare members in 2020 to qualify.
The new grants will provide up to $100,000 in financial relief for health care organizations that have incurred business disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. DECD will administer the grant program in coordination with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
“Our health care providers, and the heroic workers they employ, have shouldered an enormous burden this year,” said Governor Mills. “These funds, although not nearly enough to make up for their losses, will help bolster our providers at this critical time and allow them to continue providing care to Maine people. At the same time, I urge Congress to do its part to step up and provide additional relief.”
“Maine’s health care providers have risen to countless challenges throughout the pandemic, from caring for those directly and indirectly affected by COVID-19, to protecting their workforces, to partnering with DHHS to expand free testing,” said Jeanne Lambrew, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. “This new grant opportunity offers additional, immediate relief to providers of vital health care, but we urge Congress to step up to provide sufficient, ongoing support for the people and the State of Maine.”
“This collaborative effort between the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Economic and Community Development will provide additional funding to Maine health care providers, though the need is far greater,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “I applaud health care providers around the state for their tireless efforts to keep Maine people alive, safe, and healthy.”
Application materials and further information are available on the DECD website. The application portal for the program will open Dec. 1 at noon on DECD’s website. The deadline to apply is Dec. 10. Awards are expected to be distributed prior to the end of the month. The award amount will be based on demonstrated need, accounting for other sources of funding providers have accessed to offset revenue losses related to the pandemic.
As with the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program, the Maine Health Care Financial Relief grants may be used to cover expenses including: payroll costs and expenses; rent or mortgage payments for business facilities; utilities payments; necessary operating expenses; expenses incurred to replenish inventory or other necessary re-opening expenses; purchase of personal protective equipment required by the business or business-related equipment. Funds must be spent on operations strictly within Maine. Recipients are liable for any misuse of funds, and the grants are subject to audit.