AUGUSTA — An official with the Maine Hospital Association says the state owes hospitals $125 million through the remainder of this fiscal year as hospitals continue to serve Medicaid patients without being fully reimbursed by the state.

That is on top of the $120 million budget gap for the Department of Health and Human Services that Gov. Paul LePage is trying to close.

Jeff Austin, a lobbyist for the Maine Hospital Association, says LePage’s plan to close the budget gap by overhauling MaineCare doesn’t directly address the hospital debt, which has accumulated since 2009.

A spokeswoman for the Republican governor tells the Bangor Daily News that historically, payments owed to hospitals have not been included in the DHHS budget. The spokeswoman says the debt remains a serious concern for LePage.

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