Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

Assessment of the Impact of Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage on MaineCare and MaineCare Members

1/1/2005 - 1/31/2006
Fox, Kim

The new Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage or "Part D" was scheduled for implementation in January, 2006, and it is clear that the implementation of the new benefit for dual eligibles and individuals participating in Drugs for the Elderly (DEL) is complex. The goal of this project is to help assess the impact of the new Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage on MaineCare and MaineCare members. Issues to be addressed include potential barriers to access to medications and continuity of medication use due to the new formularies to be used by private carriers; the potential for MaineCare expenditures for dual eligibles to increase if discontinuities in medication use lead to more nursing home admissions or home health visits; lack of information flowing from the new private carriers to MaineCare on members? medication utilization; and difficulty in monitoring quality of medication use and access to medications by MaineCare for dual eligibles.

Start Date: 
Sat, 2005-01-01
End Date: 
Tue, 2006-01-31
Legacy Muskie ID: 

Cutler Institute awarded $600,000 to help youth raised in foster system

Marty Zanghi

USM's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy has been awarded a $600,000 grant to help young people raised in Maine's foster system to prepare for college and the workforce.

The money comes from the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of a $5.4 million national effort aimed at youth who are homeless or in either the foster care or juvenile justice systems.

"Many of these young people have suffered abuse or trauma and were raised in poverty and neglect," said Marty Zanghi, the Cutler Center's youth development director.

The money -- including an expected $400,000 more in matching funds -- will pay for contracted work with agencies in the target areas, starting with the greater Portland area and Penobscot, Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Nationally and in Maine, only about 3 percent of people who grow up in the foster care system achieve a college degree, he said.

"It's dramatically lower than the rate for the general population," Zanghi said. "It's a horrible outcome."

It doesn't have to be that way, though.

"There are young people that overcome these circumstances," he said. "I know people who have master's degrees and Ph.Ds."

The Casey Foundation's national effort is being called the "Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential" (LEAP) initiative.

The initiative is working on partnerships in Maine and nine other areas: Alaska, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York. In each case, people will adapt two evidence-based models to meet the needs of these youth, including support to address the trauma they may have experienced in their lives.

In Maine, the work will include a pair of successful programs, Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) and Jobs for the Future. Results will be carefully tracked, Zanghi said.

After the first year, the program is expected to grow.

"Eventually, the additional help will be available to all children, 14 and over, in the foster care system in the state of Maine," Zanghi said.

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