Dr. Coburn has had a long-standing commitment to the application of health services research in policy decision making. For over 25 years, he and his colleagues at the Muskie School's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy have worked with the Medicaid programs in Maine and other states on a variety of collaborative research, evaluation, and policy development initiatives. Coburn has conducted research on the impact of nursing home case mix payment, home and community-based waiver programs, and Medicaid physician payment changes.
A national expert on rural health, Coburn is the founding director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center, one of seven national centers funded by the federal Office of Rural Health Policy (HRSA). He is a member of the Rural Policy Research Institute's Expert Health Panel, has served on the Institute of Medicine's Committee on the Future of Rural Health Care, and has testified many times in Washington on rural health issues.
He earned his master of education from the Harvard University, and holds a doctorate in social policy from Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management.