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.
The State Health Plan released by Governor Baldacci in 2006 established a vision of Maine becoming the healthiest state in the nation. The Plan lays out objectives and strategies designed to move Maine toward this shared vision. The Plan also calls for the formation of a Rural Health Working Group. This Working Group is charged with the development of policy recommendations for improving the health and healthcare of Maine?s rural citizens and communities and addressing the issues challenging Maine?s small and rural hospitals and the clinical and community health infrastructure that interacts with those facilities to form the core of our rural health system. The Working Group is to consider strategies that can be undertaken by communities, insurers, businesses, health systems, and clinical professionals to meet the fundamental, current and emergent health and health care needs of rural residents. This work will extend to the development of policy recommendations regarding health workforce, information technology, quality improvement, health care financing, licensing and other related issues related to improving Maine?s rural health infrastructure.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) is the designated lead agency for a federally-funded initiative to support planning for health insurance expansion to uninsured persons. DHS will take the lead in convening legislative, agency and community leaders in assessing options for health insurance expansion and planning new Maine initiatives. Staff from the Institute for Health Policy of the Muskie School will form a Technical Assistance Group that supports this effort with data collection, data and policy analyses. This project will provide coordination and analytic support to four initiatives already authorized by Maine's legislature or proposed for consideration by a prior Gubernatorial Task Force. The specific initiatives that will be developed and evaluated through this project include: 1) a single payer universal health coverage system; 2) a state-sponsored small business health insurance program; 3) a fixed contribution health purchasing pool; and 4) a universal participation catastrophic coverage insurance program. A project task force will be convened by DHS to review these options and other options that may be proposed during the project period.
Maine School Administrative District 55 contracted with the Muskie School to design and implement a comprehensive evaluation of the local Safe Schools/Healthy Students initiative. The District was awarded a $3 million dollar federal grant to support coordinated activities, programs and services that focus on promoting healthy childhood development and preventing violence, alcohol and drug use/abuse. This evaluation focuses on both process and outcome measures that can be used to make programmatic decisions and assess the impact of the initiative.
This project was comprised of two main components: a web-based national database and an annual monograph of the current rural health research and policy analysis projects of the Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Centers funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP).
The Muskie School is serving as an expert resource to a joint labor management committee that is charged with identifying and recommending strategies for providing high value health care benefits to employees and families of Maine's largest employer, Bath Iron Works. These strategies include employee education, direct communication with hospitals and physicians that treat large numbers of BIW beneficiaries as well as the identification of high performance providers.