AUGUSTA – Good news for state employees and their families in Aroostook County.
Cary Medical Center in Caribou and Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent are back on the list of preferred hospitals for state employees. Last month, the State Employee Health Commission (SEHC) voted to allow the hospitals an opportunity to re-submit their proposals following an initial decision that left the two hospitals off the list back in July.
Senator Troy Jackson, who was instrumental in urging the Commission to re-open the list, was pleased with the latest decision by the SEHC.
“As I have said before, both hospitals provide quality care for the people of Aroostook County, and I am pleased to know that they will be able to continue to do so for state employees,” said Jackson.
The hospitals will be placed back on the list of preferred hospitals as of October 1, 2012. The SEHC is still determining how to address the retroactive aspect of their decision.
Had the SEHC voted against placing Cary Medical Center and Northern Maine Medical Center on the preferred hospital list, state employees requiring emergency care at these hospitals would have experienced an increase of their deductible from $200 to $1,800.
“I want to thank the staff at both hospitals for their hard work to get back on the preferred list,” said Jackson. “These hospitals are vital to the health and economy of northern Maine and their effort to make the list will make a tremendous financial difference for state employees and their families.”
The SEHC uses industry quality data and financial incentives to improve care and reduce long-term costs to the state’s insurance plan. The ratings for hospitals are based on a variety of criteria, from patient safety and clinical care to feedback from former patients. The data is also used to improve the quality of care for Maine patients and reduce the number of expensive and avoidable problems, complications, and re-admissions.
The SEHC provides coverage to 34,000 state employees and family members statewide.
Sen. Troy Jackson is serving his second term in the Maine Senate representing District 35, Aroostook County. He is the Democratic leader on the Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development Committee.