Maria Schiff

Maria Schiff

  • Senior Officer
  • State Fiscal Health,
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts


Maria Schiff works on state and local correctional health care spending and performance, which helps policymakers access the information they need to make data-driven policy decisions.

Schiff manages a team of researchers conducting comprehensive 50-state assessments and other analyses of the health care provided to those incarcerated in prisons and jails, and those transitioning back into the community after release. This research helps states and localities better understand how they can maintain high-performing systems by effectively tracking and monitoring costs, measuring and improving the quality of care delivered, and facilitating well-coordinated health care transitions for inmates as they enter and depart the correctional system.

Schiff has held numerous positions in the health care field and in groundbreaking health reform efforts. At the National Governors Association, she advised states on implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and conducted research in the areas of health workforce planning and professional scope of practice laws. As a health policy director for the commonwealth of Massachusetts, she helped research and plan Governor Mitt Romney’s 2006 health care reform law. Following her government service, Schiff launched a managed care insurance program that enrolled previously uninsured Massachusetts residents for a nonprofit Medicaid managed care insurer. Schiff has also worked as a community hospital administrator, leading quality assurance and evaluation initiatives.

Schiff holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a master’s degree in community health administration from Long Island University.

Recent Work

  • Jails: Inadvertent Health Care Providers

    Every year, millions of people are booked into U.S. jails. During 2015, the latest year for which data are available, there were 10.9 million admissions to these correctional facilities, which hold individuals who are awaiting trial or serving short sentences. The government running the jail—usually a county—has a constitutional mandate to provide people booked into these facilities... Read More

  • Pharmaceuticals in State Prisons

    Adults who are incarcerated have a higher-than-average prevalence of infectious diseases, hypertension, asthma, arthritis, mental illness, and substance use disorders, often in combination. Since departments of corrections (DOCs) are legally obligated to treat individuals in their custody, they—like all health care purchasers in this country—face the challenge of pharmaceutical prices... Read More

  • Prison Health Care Costs and Quality

    Prison health care sits at the intersection of pressing state priorities. From protecting public safety to fighting disease and promoting physical and behavioral health, and from fine-tuning budgets that trim waste to investing in cost-effective programming with long-term payoffs, the health care that prisons provide to incarcerated individuals and the care that prisons facilitate post-release is... Read More

Media Contact

Rachel Gilbert

Senior Associate, Communications