Bill Would Raise Pay for Health Aides

AUGUSTA, Maine — Advocates say that a Republican’s bill would help the state address a looming shortage of home health care workers.

Assistant House Minority Leader Ellie Espling’s bill would direct the state Department of Health and Human Services to increase reimbursement rates for home-based care services.
Her bill is set for a public hearing Monday.

A 2016 report by Burns & Associates recommended the rate increases and the Legislature last year ratified the first half of the increase.

Espling’s bill calls for 11 percent increases for personal support and self-directed services and also 14 percent increases for certain home health aide and registered nurse services.

States like Maine are facing shortages of home and community health workers, and advocates say a recently approved minimum wage hike only makes the challenge that much greater.