Health and Human Services Cost Saving Ideas

Welcome to the “Cost Savings Ideas” website of Governor Paul LePage. Here, you are invited to share your ideas for promoting cost savings in the Department off Health and Human Services, Dirigo Health, Disability Rights Center, Foundation for Blood Research, Maine Children’s Trust, Inc. (Board), Maine Health Data Organization, Maine Hospice Council, Maine Veteran’s Home (Board of Trustees), and other related agencies.

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Please keep in mind this is a public forum. For security reasons, please do not include any personal information. All submissions are to be civil and appropriate for a public forum; any submission containing profanity or personal attacks will not be posted. Thank you

Please share your government cost saving ideas in the area of health and human services here.

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  1. Seasonal Workers

    Maine should do like Mass and if you are a seasonal worker you are only eligible for Unemployment benefits if you are laid off during your "usual" season.

    10 votes
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      0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • Eliminate critical access status for merged hospitals (to reduce reimbursement)

      With big healthcare chains like Maine Health taking over contracting , billing , I.T. , for member hospitals, it doesn't make sense for the small hospital to retain critical access status and get reimbursed at a higher level costing the state and tax payer valuable resources better spent on patient care. (Example -Pen Bay/Waldo , Maine Med/Frankline County

      1 vote
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        0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • 6 votes
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          0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • Instead of paying TANF money directly to the client

          Instead of paying TANF money directly to the individual, pay it directly to the landlord or light company. You would know the money is going to what it is intended for.

          8 votes
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            0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          • 1 vote
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              0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • No COPD meds on Mainecare for current smokers.

              It infuriates me when I see regular smokers on Mainecare get expensive inhalers/meds for COPD/Asthma. Many insurances do not cover inhalers like Advair, etc. And typically, there is a huge deductible. Just Saying.

              1 vote
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                0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              • Worm and Clam diggers

                Many of these individuals only claim 10% of their income as it is not monitored. So in a sense they are double dipping, making $60,000.00 a year, reporting $6,000.00 as income and getting food stamps, welfare, and a HUGE return on the taxpayers back.

                12 votes
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                  3 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • Provide taxi vouchers to MaineCare Patient so they do not use ambulances as taxicabs.

                  I am a Patient Advocate for a hospital in Maine and one common issue with low income patients is their use of ambulances to come to the ED for non-life threatening care. The bigger issue here is the over utilization of Emergency Department Services when a patient could go to Express Care or their PCP’s office but because they do not have transportation, they use the ambulance as a taxi during evening and weekend hours when public transportation is not available.
                  The solution is for the state to provide a taxi voucher for patients who need urgent care either for…

                  1 vote
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                    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • A parent in Maine should not entitle you to full MaineCare if your income is low enough; they should have a premium-

                    Working Mainers pay high premiums to have health insurance from their employer or even through the Federal Market Place. Just because you are a parent in Maine should not entitle you to full Maine Care if your income is low enough; they should have a premium that they are required to pay each month similar to Cub Care for children.

                    4 votes
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                      1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • Audit the number of EBT (SNAP Portion) of replacement cards over specific time period like 6 months

                      If a person is selling or handing over to another individual their EBT (SNAP card) for the purchase or drugs or alcohol, chances are they are requesting a new card to replace the one utilized for the above purchases.

                      It would be wise to query the number of cards issued over a six-month period to individuals receiving benefits. If a person has replaced a card more than twice in less then six months, it would be worth looking into the situation.

                      Unless it is an example listed below, and there maybe other examples, but these are the more common situations.…

                      15 votes
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                        0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • Gov. Lepage,

                        I am sorry to say this. not trying to be rude! I am tired of DHHS and immigrants are being served first and are giving everything to them, That's using our tax dollars. We need to help our own people, Americans. You go into a hospital and immigrants are preventing real emergencies from being cared for. Grant it there are some foreigners that work hard. But not many we need to take care of our own people before we help them. Our country is going down and its the governments fault. I am not the only one that feels this.…

                        6 votes
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                          1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • Welfare Reform/Abuse/Fraud

                          Past weekend in a retail estabilshment that does drug testing on employees. Was informed that 6 individuals applied for work, 5 failed a drug test. These 5 recepient names should be submitted to DHHS and cross checked with those receiving Welfare benefits. if the individual is collecting welfare benefits those benefits should cease.

                          11 votes
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                            0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • Food Stamp Credits

                            If Food Stamp recepients are entitled to a certain amount of funds, ie $400.00 each month, at the end of the month any remaining amount that was not spent should be deducted from the next months alotment. For example: If the individual received $400.00 and at month end only spent $275.00 of it, (thus leaving a credit of $125.00 unused that month) on the next food stamp alotment it would be reloaded with $275.00 bringing that months balance back to $400.00.

                            2 votes
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                              2 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            • take a healthy portion of tax return funds from those that are receiving state help and return these funds back into the programs they use.

                              take a healthy portion of tax return funds from those that are receiving state help and return these funds back into the programs they use. Cap their available returns to a small amount instead of giving them several thousand of dollars to spend on useless products(I know this does not apply to all who receive these tax credits),if funds were returned back into these programs than maybe more people could get a little extra help or the programs could stay in existence.

                              10 votes
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                                0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              • Impose a Zero Tolerance of Abuse by staff for residents in nursing home.

                                Currently, it is difficult to justify an abuse complaint as the resident is viewed as a liar. I would like to see data collected for abuse complaints made to the Nursing Board by MaineCare residents or their families in their behalf which were found "no abuse founded after investigation" and compare them to the complaints made by residents and family memebers of those with insurance. Maybe just how many complaints are made in general per year in Maine? I feel there is a need to stay on top of this. A Zero Tolerance may also increase our standard of care…

                                7 votes
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                                  0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                • Health and Human services should make spot home visits.

                                  It should be expected that a team of workers are assigned to go to the addresses of people receiving benefits and see 'what's happening' through home visits. This may be beneficial for some people as they may need more help than what they are requesting and the workers can help them, while others may have new cars, large screen TVs or working "under the table" and the workers can intervene with that too. I think direct observation of recipients situation is far more accurate than depending on a recipients voluntary information.

                                  12 votes
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                                    3 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • get people off welfare

                                    Social services should review and investigate receiptants. Too many are soaking the state for being lazy. Most should be working because they really can.

                                    15 votes
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                                      1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • telecommute for state employees -or work 4 --10 hour days

                                      allow state employees to telecommute and work from home so many days per month
                                      less time in the offices or go to 4 -- 10 hour days and shut the office down 1 day per month or 1 day per week

                                      13 votes
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                                        0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • Welfare fraud in state government

                                        Gov. League should be going after 50 percent of welfare fraud to state employees that fraud the welfare system. The fraud started there! Many employees of state gov. Fraud the welfare tanif/ system that goes way back! Claiming children that weren't supporting the fathers was/ embezzling money/ food/heating assistance. Ect.

                                        2 votes
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                                          0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • Increase funding for western blot test for Lyme disease

                                          The CDC's official estimate in the number of cases of Lyme disease in the US has increased from 30,000 to 300,000 in the past year alone. Lyme is a disease that, when not treated promptly and aggressively, can result in far more serious implications than the initial flu-like symptoms. The condition known as "Chronic" or "post" Lyme disease syndrome has been a source of a good amount of both attention and controversy in the news lately. I'm close with somebody who's dealing with it, and I know exactly how debilitating and frustrating it can be for a person. Victims are…

                                          4 votes
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                                            0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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