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Loss of Riverview certification cost state $14M last year

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine had to pay $14 million from its Medicaid fund to make up for a federal funding cut to the Riverview Psychiatric Center last year.

The 92-bed center last week regained its federal certification, which it had lost in 2013 over deficiencies including excessive use of restraints, use of stun guns and pepper spray, poor record-keeping and medication errors.

Federal regulators had allowed the hospital to continue to receive aid designated for hospitals that serve a large share of Medicaid and uninsured patients amid lack of certification — but that funding was cut last year, leading to the state’s hefty bill.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services dipped into MaineCare to make up the $14 million difference. The state expects to cover the bill using $65 million set aside for the center in 2017.

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