Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

News: Maine Rural Health Research Center

Health Policy and Politics 5th edition book cover
Children's Health Policy: Promising Starts, Disappointing Outcomes, co-authored by Beth Kilbreth, PhD (Muskie School faculty, retired) and Erika Ziller, PhD (Deputy Director, Maine Rural Health Research Center), explores the many federal and state programs addressing the health concerns of children. This chapter is part of a collection of writings on the factors that shape the US healthcare system and policy, published in the 5th edition of Health Politics and Policy, a widely used text in university courses on health policy.
Rural Public Health book cover
In this new book, Rural Public Health: Best Practices and Preventive Models, invited authors from the Maine Rural Health Research Center discuss rural health issues from the perspectives of public health and prevention.
John Gale was elected to the National Rural Health Association’s (NRHA) Board of Trustees as chair of the Research and Education Constituency Group.
Karen Pearson and Erika Ziller each presented findings from their research on The Evidence for Community Paramedicine in Rural Areas and Rural Implementation and Impact of Medicaid. John Gale gave two presentations on Rural Health Clinics (Identifying Relevant Quality Measures and Readiness for Practice Transformation) as well as on Critical Access Hospital Community Activities under Health Reform. Zach Croll displayed his findings from the Critical Access Hospital Community Benefit project as part of the NRHA poster session.
John Gale publishes article on rural veterans' health care issues. Evolving population trends — the aging of rural veterans, the growing number of female veterans and rates of homelessness among veterans — place significant demands on VA and rural delivery systems. Coordination among health care providers is essential to increasing the availability of services and expanding veteran outreach programs.
Journal of Rural Health cover
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires Health Insurance Exchanges (HIEs) to specify network adequacy standards for the Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) they offer to consumers. This article, authored by research staff at the Maine Rural Health Research Center, USM Muskie School, examines rural issues surrounding network adequacy standards, and offers recommendations for crafting standards that optimize rural access.
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Dr. Ziller to speak on Rural Implementation and Impact of Medicaid Expansions

The impact of the ACA Medicaid expansion on health care coverage and access in rural areas is largely unknown and will depend on the different state policy contexts in which the expansions are implemented and on existing system capacity. Understanding how many rural residents are likely to become newly eligible for Medicaid under the ACA, as well as their characteristics and health status, will provide important information to aid policymakers in structuring outreach and enrollment strategies and ensuring that the healthcare infrastructure and delivery systems in rural areas can address the needs of these individuals.

On March 18th, Dr. Ziller, Deputy Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center at the University of Southern Maine, will present via a SHARE webinar, nationally representative information identifying rural-urban differences among low-income non-elderly adults (18 to 65) in the following areas:

  • Medicaid eligibility, pre-ACA
  • Medicaid participation, pre-ACA
  • New Medicaid eligibility in 2014

Dr. Ziller will also analyze the characteristics associated with any rural-urban differences in the above areas. Characteristics to be considered include age, gender, employment, education, income, Census region, health status, current relationship to primary care provider, primary care supply, and FQHC availability.

This webinar is based on Dr. Ziller's research under a State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE) grant to inform federal and state implementation of the ACA Medicaid expansion by estimating the size and characteristics of the rural population likely to be newly eligible.
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