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MaineHealth Access to Care celebrates 20th Anniversary

April 11, 2022

Contact: Caroline Cornish
207-662-5146 /

The program, which helps vulnerable populations navigate the complexities of the health care system, has helped more than 162,000 people since 2001.

PORTLAND, Maine – MaineHealth’s Access to Care Program is celebrating 20 years of helping vulnerable populations gain access to comprehensive affordable health care and improving the quality of life in the communities MaineHealth serves. Access to Care is comprised of MedAccess, CarePartners, Coverage Team, Complex Coverage Group, Homeless Health Partners and the Patient Assistance Line, and has helped over 162,000 people since 2001.

“While our programs have significantly evolved and expanded over 20 years to support individuals across our MaineHealth communities, the focus of Access to Care remains on identifying and addressing the underlying web of social, physical and financial needs facing many of the people navigating our current health system,” said Carol Zechman, Senior Director of MaineHealth Access to Care. “These programs embody MaineHealth’s vision of working together so our communities are the healthiest in America.”

Access to Care programs have had a significant impact on Maine Medical Center’s patients. Over the past 20 years, 77,732 people have been helped through the program in Cumberland County, including 12,851 in FY 2021. Also in FY 2021: 264 people were assisted with the Health Insurance Marketplace; 3,298 Medicaid/ACA Applications were submitted and the MedAccess program helped patients access $16.7 million in medications through prescription assistance programs.

CarePartners has approximately 400 active members enrolled in in Cumberland County, helping those who don't qualify for public or private health care coverage programs get the health care they need. The Maine Medical Center – Preble Street Learning Collaborative serves 50-80 patients per day, and many of these patient visits are led by Homeless Health Partners staff. These visits are focused on basic needs and medical case management, both short term and intensive.

Access to Care’s Coverage Team at Maine Medical Center includes both outpatient and inpatient case management services. The outpatient office serves an average of 22 walk-in patients per day, performing a thorough screening for any state/federal insurance programs. In addition, it connects patients to community resources related to social determinants of health. The Inpatient Team assists all uninsured inpatients with applying and enrolling in state/federal programs. Since its launch in November 2019, the Inpatient Team has assisted over 2,500 patients in receiving MaineCare.

Finally, The Patient Assistance Line (833-MHHELP1), which went live in 2019, helps patients find resources to manage:

  • Health insurance
  • Medications
  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Food insecurity

“Access to Care displays our MaineHealth values every day, and is critically important to the health of our communities,” said Jeff Sanders, President of Maine Medical Center, at the Access to Care anniversary event on April 8. “Their team truly cares about helping our patients with the healthcare and services they need and deserve."

Review the impact of Access to Care across the state “by the numbers” in the Access to Care Total Impact Report.


About Maine Medical Center
Maine Medical Center (MMC), recognized as a Best Regional Hospital by U.S. News and World Report for 2021-2022, is a complete health care resource for the people of Greater Portland and the entire state, as well as northern New England. Incorporated in 1868, MMC is the state’s largest medical center, licensed for 637 beds and employing more than 9,600 people. MMC's unique role as both a community hospital and a referral center requires an unparalleled depth and breadth of services, including an active educational program and a world-class biomedical research center. As a nonprofit institution, Maine Medical Center provides nearly 23 percent of all the charity care delivered in Maine. MMC is part of the MaineHealth system, a growing family of health care services in northern New England. For more information, visit

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