Category Archives: health policy

As ACA deadline looms, Maine doctors show support for single-payer health care

With March 31 fast approaching as the deadline to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care act, the state’s largest physicians group has released new survey results showing Maine doctors favor a very different kind of health reform. The survey of Maine Medical Association members shows nearly two-thirds of doctors prefer a single-payer health care system. […]

Did MaineCare’s crackdown on opiates fuel our state’s heroin problem?

Not long after MaineCare cracked down on the availability of narcotic prescriptions early last year, police reported a spike in heroin abuse. Maine addiction specialists agree: They say the restrictions, while working to prevent some Mainers from getting hooked on painkillers, also squeeze the drug supply to fuel addiction elsewhere. Enter Maine’s growing heroin problem, […]

You don’t have to call your doctor to get lab results anymore

Patients can now get their medical test results directly from the laboratory, without going through a doctor’s office. The new rule, part of the Obama administration’s effort to give patients more say in their health care, particularly affects Maine and a dozen other states that permit labs to release results only to health care providers. Announced on […]

Maine weighs wider use of drug that prevents overdose deaths

Maine’s failing to prevent drug deaths by limiting distribution of a medication that counteracts overdoses and punishing those who call 911 to report overdoses, according to a recent analysis. But new legislation could change the state’s approach. The analysis, performed in October by the Trust for America’s Health, was publicized again this week in light […]

MaineCare: As expansion debate rages, already ‘eligible’ remain in limbo

Much of the focus on the new Affordable Care Act enrollment numbers released Monday has centered around private insurance. In Maine, that’s the 13,704 residents who have chosen a health plan through either Anthem or nonprofit insurer Maine Community Health Options. But another 3,236 Mainers who signed onto since October have learned they’re possibly […]

Reaction swift to Oregon Medicaid study showing more ER use

Critics of expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are jumping on a new study released Thursday that undermines a chief argument for boosting the rolls of the government health insurance program for the poor. The study, published in the journal Science, found that newly insured Medicaid recipients visited emergency departments significantly more than the […]