Doctor with child and mother

Access to Care

Access to health care is the cornerstone of good health. But, access can be a challenge for people who are uninsured. All not-for-profit hospitals are required to provide care to those who seek it, regardless of their ability to pay. Although charity care provides a safety net, MaineHealth has offered innovative Access to Care programs since 2001.

Over the years, hundreds of thousands of Maine people have received high-quality care, improved their health status, received free and reduced-price medications, reduced unnecessary emergency department visits, and learned how to successfully navigate the health care system through our nationally-recognized Access to Care programs. These accomplishments are the result of hundreds of primary care and specialty physicians who donate their time, hospitals that donate their services, and the development of key partnerships, all fueled by a common vision and sense of responsibility to ensure access to care for all. Programs include:

  • Complex Coverage Group
  • Homeless Health Partners

The Complex Coverage Group serves as a resource to hospitalized patients who need intensive assistance navigating social safety net programs such as Medicare, Social Security, MaineCare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace.

Our case managers provide direct patient support and expertise through hospital discharge and beyond, until the application or transition process is complete. Complex Coverage Group staff members also serve as guides to Patient Care Managers who have general program questions.

Homeless HealthPartners provides outreach, engagement and medical care coordination services to Portland patients experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. Homeless HealthPartners is a partnership between Maine Medical Center, Preble Street Learning Collaborative, Preble Street and Greater Portland Health to ensure that get the care they need to stay healthy by:

  • Facilitating access to primary care services in the community
  • Referring to specialty medical, behavioral health and social service providers
  • Working with care providers across the health system
  • Reducing use of emergency departments for needs that can be addressed in the primary care and/or behavioral health/social service setting
  • Identifying needs, gaps and capacities in the health system as they relate specifically to Portland's homeless population

Who is involved in Homeless HealthPartners?

Homeless HealthPartners works with:

  • Maine Medical Center and Preble Street Learning Collaborative
  • Maine Medical Center Care Management
  • Maine Medical Center Department of Medical Education
  • Maine Medical Partners and MMP Population Health
  • MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization
  • MaineHealth Care at Home
  • Brighton First Care
  • City of Portland
  • University of New England School of Social Work
  • University of Southern Maine School of Nursing
  • Portland YMCA

What does Homeless HealthPartners do?

Homeless HealthPartners receives patient referrals from Preble Street, Greater Portland Health, Maine Medical Center, Maine Medical Partners and MaineHealth service providers. Services are intended to be easy to access, short-term and focused on engaging patients in their own medical care.

Homeless HealthPartners is mobile and flexible, meaning we meet patients in the community, hospital, emergency department, shelter, soup kitchen or at their doctor’s office. Case managers can provide the following services:

  • Accompany patients to medical appointments
  • Connect patients to transportation and prescription medication programs
  • Work to help patients understand health information
  • Holistic case management for complete and integrated systems of support

Would you like a helping hand?

MaineHealth Findhelp (formerly Aunt Bertha), is an online directory of free or reduced-cost services like medical care, food, housing and more.