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DHHS proposes restructuring plan

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A proposed restructure plan for the Department of Health and Human Services could result in a net loss of 47 jobs.

At a press conference in Augusta today, DHHS presented their plan that would merge departments and hopefully eliminate a lot of overlap. 

The restructuring proposal would combine the Offices of Substance Abuse and Adult Mental Health Services to create the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services.  The Offices of Elder Services and Cognitive and Physical Disabilities would become the Office of Aging and Disability Services.  Commissioner Mary Mayhew says this plan would offer a continuum of care, but Democrats still have their concerns.

"Clearly the intent is to ensure that this system, this system of health and human services, is easier for individuals, for families to navigate," Mayhew said. "It's going to take time around implementation, but clearly, this is the end goal."

"The recent news that we've had of the Department's inability to account for the 19,000 people on Maine Care," Representative Mark Eves, (D) of North Berwick, said. "I think to do a major restructuring at a time when the Department can't account for things they should be able to, I think the timing of this, we have some reservations about."

DHHS predicts that is passed the proposal would save the state half a million dollars.  DHHS expects a public hearing to be held regarding this proposal within a few days.


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