Yvonne Jonk, PhD

Deputy Director, Maine Rural Health Research Center

Phone: 207.228.8038
Fax: 207.228.8138
Email: yvonne.jonk@maine.edu

University of Southern Maine
34 Bedford Street
PO Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104-9300


Current Projects - (6)

  • Ambulance Deserts: Addressing Geographic Disparities in the Provision of Ambulance Services
    This two-year study aims to identify geographic disparities in accessing ambulance services by building a database of ambulance service locations in year one and identifying and creating maps of ambulance deserts within each of the states in year two.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Emergency medical services and trauma, Healthcare access, Transportation
  • Health Care Use and Access Among Rural and Urban Elderly Medicare Beneficiaries
    This project will examine rural-urban differences in healthcare use and access to healthcare services among elderly Medicare enrollees using the 2011-2013 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. We also will identify the socioeconomic and health factors that may place rural seniors at risk for poor healthcare access.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Medicare
  • Healthcare Use and Expenditures Among Rural and Urban Medicare Beneficiaries Aged 85 and Over
    The proportion of U.S. residents ages 85+ is expected to grow substantially in the coming decades with the impact of this growth in rural areas likely to be pronounced. This project will use data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey to examine rural-urban differences in healthcare use and expenditures among Medicare enrollees ages 85+.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Healthcare access, Long-term care, Medicare
  • Prevalence of Opioid Prescribing, Diagnoses of Opioid Use Disorder, Treatment Patterns, and Costs Among Rural Medicare Beneficiaries
    Opioid use disorder (OUD) diagnoses among the aged and disabled are among the highest and fastest growing. This study uses the 2010-2017 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey to examine opioid prescribing rates and explore risk factors associated with OUDs and associated treatment patterns and costs within rural and urban Medicare populations.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Medicare, Pharmacy and prescription drugs, Substance use and treatment
  • Telehealth Use Among Children in Medicaid Managed Care and Fee-for-Service Programs
    This project will assess differences in the use of telehealth services among rural and urban children by enrollment in state Medicaid managed care organizations and fee-for-service programs using national administrative claims datasets.
    Research center: Rural Telehealth Research Center
    Topics: Children and adolescents, Health services, Medicaid and CHIP, Mental and behavioral health, Telehealth
  • Understanding Rural Non-Emergent Emergency Department Use
    Research shows rural residents use emergency departments (ED) at higher rates than urban residents. Other studies suggest rural residents are more likely to visit the ED for a non-emergent reasons. This study uses the 2014-17 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to analyze factors associated with rural versus urban residents' non-emergent use of EDs.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Emergency medical services and trauma, Health services, Healthcare access, Hospitals and clinics

Completed Projects - (4)

  • Acuity Differences Among Newly Admitted Rural and Urban Nursing Home Residents
    This study used nursing home assessment data to examine rural-urban differences in resident acuity upon admission; whether differences persisted among newly admitted Medicare and non-Medicare residents; and whether and how nursing home, local health system, and market characteristics were associated with differences in resident acuity.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Long-term care
  • Are Part D Plans Meeting the Needs of Rural Medicare Beneficiaries?
    The purpose of this project is to assess whether the Medicare Part D prescription drug plans available in rural counties are sufficient to meet the needs of rural Medicare beneficiaries.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Medicare, Medicare Part D, Pharmacy and prescription drugs
  • Cost of Running a Rural Ambulance Service
    This study will address the cost of running ambulance services in rural areas by organizational structure/source of funding, the factors contributing to differences in costs, and factors contributing to differences in financial viability.
    Research center: North Dakota and NORC Rural Health Reform Policy Research Center
    Topics: Emergency medical services and trauma, Healthcare financing
  • Understanding Trends in Telehealth Use: An All-Payer Analysis in Maine
    This project's primary purpose was to use Maine's All-Payer Claims Database and key informant interviews to develop a descriptive overview of telehealth use in Maine, examining how telehealth use had changed over time (2008-2017) among rural and urban patients and providers.
    Research center: Rural Telehealth Research Center
    Topics: Medicare, Private health insurance, Telehealth

Publications - (7)

2020

  • Acuity Differences Among Newly Admitted Older Residents in Rural and Urban Nursing Homes
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 11/2020
    This study found newly admitted residents of rural nursing homes were more likely to have cognitive issues/problem behaviors than those in urban facilities. Yet rural facilities admitted less complex older (age 75+) residents than urban, raising questions about the rural long-term services and supports system and capacity of rural nursing homes.
  • Telehealth Use in a Rural State: A Mixed Methods Study Using Maine's All-Payer Claims Database
    Rural Telehealth Research Center
    Date: 10/2020
    This study examines trends in telehealth use in Maine and identifies barriers and facilitators to its adoption. While telehealth appears to improve access to behavioral health and speech therapy services, provider shortages, lack of broadband, and restrictive Medicare and commercial coverage plans limit telehealth services use in rural areas.
  • Telebehavioral Health Use Among Rural Medicaid Beneficiaries: Relationships with Telehealth Policies
    Rural Telehealth Research Center
    Date: 09/2020
    This study assesses policy levers potentially supporting sustained use of telehealth services. Among rural Medicaid fee-for-service beneficiaries with behavioral health needs, engaging patients through informed consent within provider settings that receive facility fees may facilitate improved access to telebehavioral health services.

2015

2014

2013