July 14, 2013

Hospitals make plans for MaineCare payments from state

By Kaitlin Schroeder kschroeder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Hospitals in central Maine are reporting they plan to use the millions of dollars in repaid MaineCare funding to pay down debt, invest in new technology and embark on capital improvement projects. 

MaineGeneral Health Chief Financial Officer Mike Koziol said being repaid $38 million in MaineCare reimbursements will allow its network to settle short-term debt and put money aside for the future. 

The money also will go toward the $312 million construction and equipment costs of the MaineGeneral hospital under construction in north Augusta and the $10 million renovation scheduled to begin in January at the Thayer campus in Waterville.

He said Maine hospitals could not have continued much longer without repayment.

“This is a big deal. If this didn’t happen, it would have been detrimental,” he said.

Officials from Eastern Maine Healthcare System, the parent company for Sebasticook Valley Health in Pittsfield and Inland Hospital in Waterville, said the money will go toward paying down debt and capital improvement.

The network of seven hospitals is owed $108 million, with $9.4 million owed to Inland and $1.4 million owed to Sebasticook.

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Derrick Hollings said in a statement the health group has no specific plans for the money yet, but it expects to use the money to catch up on financial obligations such as repaying vendors and paying loans.

He also said some of the money probably will go toward delayed capital investments such as maintenance, plant improvements and equipment replacement.

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