Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

Maine Emergency Department Use Study

1/1/2008 - 1/31/2009
Maine Health Information Center

1. Background: Nationally, Emergency Department (ED) use has been on the rise and many areas are experiencing overcrowding and capacity shortages. In addition, there is a widely shared perception among health care providers that patients are turning to EDs for non-emergency care, indicating potential barriers to urgent care or primary care in alternative settings. This study was commissioned by the Work Group on Emergency Department Use created by the Maine Health Advisory Council. The study was part of a larger effort to identify possible areas of cost savings in the health care system in Maine. The intent of the study, carried out in collaboration with the Maine Health Information Center, was to measure the extent and type of ED use by Maine citizens and to analyze patterns by geographic area and patient characteristics.

2. Purpose of the project: This study used hospital data and insurance claims to measure hospital emergency department use in Maine and uncover patterns of use by diagnosis, health service area, and patient characteristics.

Project approach or study design:

Hospital discharge data was used to determine total numbers of ED visits, the percent distribution of visits by payer source, by health service area, by patient age and by diagnosis. Claims data for Maine

Start Date: 
Tue, 2008-01-01
End Date: 
Sat, 2009-01-31
Legacy Muskie ID: 
6 007

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Hartley Retires as Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center

David Hartley, PhD

David Hartley, PhD, the Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center (MRHRC) and a Research Professor of Public Health has announced that he will be retiring from the University of Southern Maine August 31st, 2014. David came to the University in 1994 and has directed the MRHRC since 2004. Andy Coburn, PhD, Research Professor of Public Health, will take over as the new MRHRC Director. Erika Ziller, PhD continues in her role as Deputy Director. David has had a distinguished career in rural health and rural health research, and has made lasting contributions to the field with his work on rural behavioral health, rural disparities and health, and rural active living.

A celebration will be scheduled in early fall to honor David and his many contributions to the field and the University.


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