Health Services Access, Quality, and Financing

Rural Children Don't Receive the Mental Health Care They Need


Key Findings:

  • Just over one-third of all children with a mental health problem received a mental health visit in the past year;
  • Controlling for other characteristics that affect access to care, rural children are 20% less likely to have a mental health visit than urban children;
  • Having Medicaid or SCHIP increases the likelihood that a child will receive services, and this is pronounced in rural areas.

Suggested Citation:

Lambert D, Ziller EC, Lenardson JD. Rural Children Don't Receive the Mental Health Care They Need. (Research & Policy Brief).  Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service, Maine Rural Health Research Center; January 2009.

Publication Type: 
Research and Policy Brief
Publish Date: 
January 5, 2009

State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Survey 08-09

1/1/2008 - 1/31/2009

Project staff will conduct a telephone survey of parents of 1200 current enrollees, 300
disenrollees, and 300 new enrollees of a sample of the MaineCare population; it will be stratified by traditional
Medicaid, Medicaid expansion, and Separate Child Health Program populations. The survey collects information on
satisfaction with MaineCare providers and services, unmet needs, provider education practices, health status, health
behaviors, insurance, and parent's employment status. The survey instrument was revised in 2006 to include several
measures from the National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH), including medical home, children with special
health care needs (CSHCN), and specific physical and mental health conditions. Because past surveys identified a
high prevalence of overweight among children on MaineCare, the survey instrument also includes a series of items
designed to measure physical activity and nutrition behaviors among children.

Start Date: 
Tue, 2008-01-01
End Date: 
Sat, 2009-01-31
Legacy Muskie ID: 
5 528

State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Survey 2006-2007

1/1/2006 - 1/31/2007

More than 95,000 children are enrolled in MaineCare, the State?s Medicaid and SCHIP program, which provides health coverage to low-income children in the Maine. State and federal policymakers are interested in monitoring the health status of children in the MaineCare program and the quality of care they receive. The purpose of this project is to obtain consumer feedback about MaineCare services, to learn about the health status and health behaviors of this population, and to understand reasons parents disenrolled their children from MaineCare. Project staff will conduct a telephone survey of a sample of parents with children on MaineCare, including current enrollees, new enrollees, and disenrollees. Findings from the survey report will be used to improve understanding of the needs of children on MaineCare and to develop quality improvement initiatives.

Start Date: 
Sun, 2006-01-01
End Date: 
Wed, 2007-01-31
Legacy Muskie ID: 
3 780

Vermont Survey

1/1/2005 - 1/30/2006

This is a subcontract to advise and participate in the development of 3 issue papers on the policy implications of findings from a survey of Vermont households on insurance status and related issues.

Start Date: 
Sat, 2005-01-01
End Date: 
Mon, 2006-01-30
Legacy Muskie ID: 
3 753


1/22/2012 - 1/21/2013
Joan Klayman [node:person_suffix]
Principal Investigator: 
Kimberley Fox

Maine, in partnership with the State of Vermont was awarded a five-year Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) Quality Demonstration Grant to "test promising ideas for improving the quality of children's health care." The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the designated lead agency for the federally-funded initiative. The Improving Health Outcomes for Children (IHOC) project promotes the use of quality measures and information technology to improve Medicaid member children's timely access to quality care.
Under IHOC's Category C, Maine and Vermont will assess and support pediatric practices operating as patient-centered medical homes in their respective states. Maine will also pilot learning initiatives for the Pediatric PCMH Pilot sites and other pediatric practice settings including implementation of the current American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition.

Project URL:
Start Date: 
Sun, 2012-01-22
End Date: 
Mon, 2013-01-21
Legacy Muskie ID: 
8 509


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