Former DHHS chief: Hospital overpayments no surprise

Posted March 15, 2011, at 10:22 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The former commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services says the new administration should have been aware of a $66 million overpayment to hospitals.

Last week, the LePage administration announced it had uncovered a $66 million budget error. But former Commissioner Brenda Harvey says it was no error.

She says her department had warned hospitals last summer that the state expected to overpay and that an adjustment would have to be made to stay within budget. The Portland Press Herald says a former deputy of finance alerted the new administration in January.

At a news conference, LePage said, “We inherited a big mess.”

Harvey said the situation needs to be addressed, but she denied that “it’s a mess.”

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