D.C. demands 51 million dollars from Maine hospital

Riverview Funding

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine may have to pay back $51 million dollars to the U.S. government for money used by Riverview Psychiatric Center after the hospital lost its certification in 2013.
The decertification came after inspections found problems including the use of stun guns and handcuffs. Later inspections found more problems, according to AP.  The state has been working to regain certification but a federal judge ruled in 2015 that state missed the deadline for appealing the decision.
Rep. Deb Sanderson says, "former DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew has repeatedly warned the Legislature that this was coming and what steps we needed to take to avoid this."  She blames Democrats for their reluctance to comply with federal TANF work and volunteer requirements, "we could potentially owe the federal government another $30 million,"  Sanderson said.
LePage, who vowed to appeal the decision, blamed lawmakers Thursday for continuing to spend federal funds despite concerns raised since the psychiatric hospital lots its certification. He said he expects the Legislature to "take responsibility for its missteps and to allocate $51 million to make up the difference," AP.

Below is a statement from Rep. Deb Sanderson the ranking House Republican on the Health and Human Services Committee regarding the announcement regarding Riverview Psychiatric Center:

“For years, Democrats have been using Riverview as a political weapon against Governor LePage and his administration with no regard for the patients who depend on the facility for the care they need,” said Rep. Sanderson. “Former DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew has repeatedly warned the Legislature that this was coming and what steps we needed to take to avoid this but Democrats chose not to listen. Their repeated obstructionism and antics may cost the state $51 million and given Democrats reluctance to comply with federal TANF work and volunteer requirements, we could potentially owe the federal government another $30 million. This all could have been avoided if Democrats cared about solving problems as much as they care about playing political games to poke the governor in the eye.” 

DHHS is appealing but if it fails the state will have to pay back the money. 

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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