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Legislators have completed their work for the 2016 session. The session included passage of LD 1537, legislation focused on Maine’s drug addiction crisis and LD 1646, legislation impacting opioid prescribing and Maine’s prescription monitoring program. Unfortunately legislation to increase funding for Methadone clinics failed to receive the necessary funding. Once again, despite strong support from Maine hospitals and advocates, legislation to expand health insurance coverage to thousands of low income Maine citizens failed to pass. Additionally, despite months of work, nearly all of the recommendations from the Commission to Study Difficult to Place Patients failed to move forward. The only recommendation that passed supports the Long Term Care Ombudsman to hire two additional positions dedicated to assisting hospitals to transfer difficult to place patients into community based care settings. Bills directing DHHS to conduct rate studies for MaineCare funded home care and ambulance services reflect important work that will continue when the newly elected legislature convenes in January. Regular Bills and Resolves passed during the 2016 legislative session become effective on Friday, July 29, 2016. ...
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