Policy and Advocacy

Policymakers must balance the need for short-term gains with long term, sustained changes to improve health and health care.  MeHAF invests in policy research to deepen the debate on how state-level and national health care reform efforts and improvements in care delivery can best serve the people of Maine. 

The most recent policy research is listed below.  For a full listing of policy briefs and reports, visit our Publications page.

Improving the Health of Maine People: Getting Down to Basics (Jan 2010)
This report summarizes local and national best practices and presents input from nearly 1,000 Maine people on proposed improvement strategies to promote better health and health care.  MeHAF worked with the Department of Health and Human Services and seven grantees to identify ways to strengthen the understanding, impact and value of MaineCare for its members. 

Analysis of 2006 Maine Emergency Department Use:  Phase I (Feb 2009)
Analysis of Emergency Department Use in Maine:  Phase II (Jan 2010)
The number of people visiting Maine's Emergency Departments for emergent and routine care significantly exceeds the national average.  Working with Maine's Advisory Council for Health Systems Development, MeHAF funded a two-phase analysis of ED use to determine how care can be provided in more patient-centered and less costly ways.

Maine Barriers to Integration Study: Environmental Scan (October 2008)
Maine Barriers to Integration Study: The View from Maine on the Barriers to Integrated Care and Recommendations for Moving Forward (July 2009)
Promoting better care coordination and care integration between primary care providers and those who provide mental and behavioral health services is central to improving health and health care.  Produced for MeHAF by the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service, these companion reports describe barriers to integrated care at the national, state, practice and patient levels.  Regulatory, licensure and reimbursement issues related to integration are described.  Potential recommendations for policy changes that will support a transformed health care delivery system designed to provide more patient and family-centered care are also outlined in the report.

Evaluating the Impact of Recent Federally Qualified Health Center Expansions on Access and Cost in Maine  (December 2008)
Between 2003-2006, MeHAF invested nearly $160,000 in grants to the Maine Primary Care Association and in contracts with an experienced grant writer to help Maine's community health centers better compete for federal grant dollars for expansions or new access points.  John Snow, Inc. evaluated the impact of this strategy to strengthen and expand Maine's community health centers using UDS data comparisons as well as interviews with local service providers and patients. This expansion strategy resulted in modest gains in access to primary care, but significantly increased access to mental health and oral health services.  

Health Insurance Coverage in Maine, The Urban Institute (May 2007)                            

Costs of Caring for Uninsured People in Maine, The Urban Institute (May 2007)

Perspectives of Health Care and Insurance Coverage in Maine, Critical Insights (April 2007)