State Nursing Home Quality Improvement Programs: Site Visit and Synthesis Report. A Brief Description of Maine's Nursing Home Industry


In order to put Maine in context with other study states, we have included some descriptive characteristics of the state's nursing home environment. Comparative data presented are from the American Health Care Association (AHCA) website (AHCA, 2002). There are 126 facilities in Maine, with 7,309 residents reported as of Spring 2001. The average number of beds per facility is 65, which is lower than the national average of 108. Maine's median occupancy rate per facility is 91 percent as compared to the national rate of 87 percent.

The percentage of for-profit homes is higher than the national average, (71 percent vs. 65 percent) while the percentage of not-for-profit homes is lower (25 percent vs. 28 percent nationally) with few government-operated facilities (4 percent vs. 6.5 percent). Fewer of Maine's facilities are hospital-based (9.5 percent vs. 12 percent nationally), but there is a higher percent of facilities that are dually certified for Medicare and Medicaid in Maine (100 percent vs. 80 percent nationally).

The state has seen a dramatic shift in the composition of its nursing home population in the past nine years, most likely as a response to the state's case mix reimbursement system and other long-term care reform (e.g., requiring facilities to increase their participation in Medicare by certifying more beds) that were implemented beginning in 1994.5

  • Medicaid census declined 18 percent from 1995-2002.
  • Medicaid length of stay declined approximately 44 percent between 1994 and 2002.
  • Medicare days doubled during this period, and now represent approximately 11.4 percent of all resident days in nursing facilities.
  • Total days of care declined nearly 26 percent.
  • The number of licensed beds decreased from 10,207 to 7,708 between 1994 and 2002. This was primarily the result of converting excess space in nursing homes to residential care, and by closing outdated, antiquated or unnecessary facilities.

5. The source of the information presented in this section is the State of Maine Long-Term Care Status Report, December 2002,

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