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Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) met with members of the Maine Hospital Association (MHA) in Washington, D.C., to discuss possible solutions to several issues hospitals throughout Maine are facing.
In attendance included leadership from Cary Medical Center, Central Maine Healthcare, MaineGeneral Medical Center, Mount Desert Island Hospital, New England Rehab Hospital of Portland, Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital, Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital, Northern Light Mercy Hospital, Bridgton Hospital, and Rumford Hospital.
“For more than 80 years, the Maine Hospital Association has shown great dedication to the citizens of Maine by working to improve health care for all Mainers,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We had a productive discussion about several important topics, including maintaining the stability of rural hospitals, budget cuts, hospital regulations, and workforce shortages.”
Last week, Senator Collins joined Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) in introducing bipartisan legislation to boost the number of doctors able to work in rural America. The Conrad State 30 & Physician Access Act would allow international doctors to remain in the United States upon completing their residency under the condition that they practice in underserved areas, such as rural communities. Senator King is also a cosponsor of this legislation.
In March, Senators Collins and King joined Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) in introducing bipartisan legislation to update a current loophole in Medicare policy that would help protect seniors from high medical costs for the skilled nursing care they require after hospitalization. The Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act would allow for the time patients spend in the hospital under “observation status” to count toward the requisite three-day hospital stay for coverage of skilled nursing care.
MHA represents all 36 community-governed hospitals in Maine. Formed in 1937, the Augusta-based nonprofit is the primary advocate for hospitals in the Maine State Legislature, the U.S. Congress, and state and federal regulatory agencies. It also provides educational services and serves as a clearinghouse for comprehensive information for its hospital members, lawmakers, and the public.