Discussion of revenues and a lengthy meeting

The Appropriations committee met all day Saturday both on mic and off. In the morning discussions centered on the revenue ideas presented on Friday.

Audio from this discussion can be found here:

Revenue sources

Sen. Flood shared a new draft of the proposal to save $20M through altering the time period in which payments are made to providers in the MaineCare program.

The new draft may be found here: cashmgmt 04052014

The new draft addressed concerns raised in discussions on Friday. The changes include:

  • Flexibility in start date
  • Flexibility to exempt providers or provider groups who demonstrate a need for an exemption
  • Requiring DHHS to report both on implementation progress and savings achievement progress in January 2015

Stephanie Nadeau of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) presented information on the proposal from the Department’s perspective.

Federal prompt pay requirements require the payment of 90% of clean submitted claims within 30 days and 99% of clean submitted claims within 90 days. A clean claim requires no follow up.

Providing exemptions to providers or provider groups reduces the $20M in savings.

Mark Cyr of the Office of Fiscal and Program Review (OFPR) answered questions about the proposal to structure the upcoming bond issuance of $76.5M as 10 year bonds, as usual, but with 9 payments over the life of the bond. This essentially saves the first year of principle payments and spreads it over the remaining 9 payments.

Mr. Cyr told the committee that at least twice in the past the state has done this exact process without impact to the State’s bond rating.

This generates $8.5M of one-time savings.

After meeting in caucuses all day and night, at 3:30 AM Sunday the committee adjourned until Monday afternoon.

Schedule

On Monday half an hour after the House or Senate has completed their morning sessions the committee will meet for a brief work session on LD 1639 “An Act To Fund Merit and Longevity Pay for Executive, Judicial and Legislative Branch Employees Pursuant to a Collective Bargaining Agreement” and to discuss proposals related to the 2nd Supplemental Budget.  Their work on the Budget (caucusing, discussion and voting) will likely continue off and on between sessions and, likely, well into the night after the last session on Monday.  The full schedule may be found here: http://www.maine.gov/legis/ofpr/appropriations_committee/schedule_agendas/index.htm

As always please join the committee in Room 228, listen online at: http://www.maine.gov/legis/ofpr/appropriations_committee/audio/index.htm or watch MPBN’s Capitol Connection broadcast either here: http://www.mpbn.net/News/MaineCapitolConnection.aspx, over the air or through your cable provider

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