Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

News

USM’s Muskie School of Public Service awarded a $233,000 grant to study cost-of-health-care pilot program

USM's Muskie School of Public Service in partnership with Maine Quality Counts and the Maine Health Data Organization has been awarded a $233,000 one year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to examine new ways of informing patients about the cost of their health care
WCSH-TV photo of Pious Ali

USM’s Pious Ali joins Portland City Council in ‘historic inauguration’ says WCSH-TV

WCSH-TV covered the swearing-in ceremony Dec. 5 of Pious Ali, a community outreach specialist for USM's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy, as a Portland City Councilor. Ali became the first African-born city councilor in Portland history.
cover photo for Innovations in Rural Health System Developement

New reports presented at MeHAF Rural Conference

In an effort to inform and promote local discussions and strategic planning for transforming health and health care in rural communities, the Maine Rural Health Research Center, with support from the Maine Health Access Foundation, produced five issue briefs profiling innovative approaches to rural health. The briefs present innovative approaches from Maine and other parts of the United States to the provision of behavioral health services, recruitment and retention of health care workers, service delivery, governance, and health care payment and financing in rural areas. FMI: Andrew Coburn, PhD, Director, Maine Rural Health Research Center.

New Research Shows Inequality in Mainers' Access to Health Care

On October 17, 2016, the Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) released a new research brief developed with the University of Southern Maine that found significant inequality in the ability of people in Maine to access quality health care. The authors, Barbara Leonard from MeHAF and Erika Ziller from the USM Muskie School, found that income, age and education are all closely associated with Maine people’s ability to receive appropriate and timely health care. Specifically, they found that among Maine adults 18 and older, those with family incomes less than $25,000 a year, young adults, racial and ethnic minorities, and people with less education are much more likely to: -Delay seeking health care even when sick; -Be unable to afford prescription medication; -Lack access to preventative check-ups and screenings or have a regular health care provider. In addition, their analysis also found that Maine people, of all income groups, have reported difficulties in paying medical costs. The brief is available for download on the Maine Health Access Foundation website.

New article on EMS Performance Measures by Rural Health Research Center staff

Developing Program Performance Measures for Rural Emergency Medical Services has been published online in Prehospital Emergency Care, and is available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10903127.2016.1218978. The authors are John Gale, Andrew Coburn, Karen Pearson, Zach Croll, and George Shaler. Building on national efforts to develop EMS performance measures, the authors sought to identify measures relevant to the rural communities and hospitals supported by the National Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex Program). The measures are intended for use in monitoring rural EMS performance at the community level as well as for use by state Flex Programs and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to demonstrate the impact of the Flex Program. Working with an Expert Panel, the authors identified 17 program performance measures to support EMS services in rural communities. These measures monitor the capacity of local agencies to collect and report quality and financial data, use the data to improve agency performance, and train rural EMS employees in emergent protocols for all age groups. FMI: John Gale

Gale presents on rural opioids at United Nations meeting in Vienna

John Gale, Research Associate at the Maine Rural Health Research Center, was invited to present at a three-day meeting of the Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section of the United Nation's Office on Drugs and Crime, held in Vienna, Austria the first week of June.The focus of the meeting is the development of a model program for drug prevention and treatment in rural areas. Gale's current research on rural opioids provided the context for his presentation, "The Overall Situation of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Prevention and Treatment in Rural Settings."

Rural Center staff present at National Rural Health Association Annual Meeting

Erika Ziller, Deputy Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center, and John Gale, Research Associate, each presented findings from their current research portfolio and both contributed to a panel discussion on the rural opioid crisis. For more information, visit the National Rural Health Association webpage at: http://www.ruralhealthweb.org/go/left/programs-and-events/nrha-conferences/nrha-annual-conference

New Chartbook on the Use of Maine's Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS)

Prepared by research staff at the USM Muskie School of Public Service for the Maine Office of Aging and Disability Services, this Chartbook provides information on Maine adults who use MaineCare funded long term services and supports (LTSS). The Chartbook provides both demographic trends that impact Maine's LTSS system as well as data on the typical MaineCare service utilization and expenditures of different LTSS populations. The Chartbook will also help inform the discussion among policymakers, providers, consumers, and advocates as they work together to ensure that Maine’s LTSS system meets the needs of all its citizens. FMI: Kimberly Snow (kimberly.i.snow@maine.edu)

2015 Maine Crime Victimization Survey Report

The Maine Statistical Analysis Center hosted a press release forum for the 2015 Maine Crime Victimization Report on December 1, 2015.

Pearson and Shaler Present Community Paramedicine Study Findings at EMS Conference

Karen Pearson and George Shaler of the USM Muskie School presented findings from their evaluation of the Maine EMS Community Paramedicine Pilot Program at the EMS Conference in Rockland on November 13, 2015. The Community Paramedicine Pilot Program is comprised of 12 pilot sites located across the state of Maine. Community Paramedicine is the practice by an emergency medical services (EMS) provider in an out-of-hospital setting, providing patient evaluation and treatment within their scope of practice, directed at preventing or improving a medical condition as requested or directed by a physician. Pearson and Shaler found that, overall, Maine's Pilot Program highlighted the need for innovative solutions to integrating care coordination for patients with chronic conditions or who are at high risk for re-hospitalization.

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