Health Care Cost and Utilization
UMass Medical School's Center for Health Policy and Research is often asked to evaluate the effectiveness of Medicaid programs, examining services as well as outcomes and costs for difficult or high-risk conditions such as mental illness and chronic disease.
Using sophisticated analyses of administrative claims and medical record data, UMass Medical School’s Center for Health Policy and Research can identify service gaps, measure the relative effectiveness of various treatments, or assess the impact of a policy change.
Past and Current Projects
Depression in Community Elders
This study examined the cost and source of treatment for elders with depression and found that 85 percent of elders received treatment from their primary care physicians instead of a mental health professional, indicating a need for increased training and outreach to primary care physicians on how to manage psychiatric conditions within the elder population.
The Impact of Buprenorphine on Medicaid Expenditures
In this study, UMass Medical School's Center for Health Policy and Research is examining the relative cost, utilization, and success rates of treatment for opioid addiction, comparing buprenorphine treatment with the more traditional methadone treatment.
Improving Treatment for Medicaid Beneficiaries with Co-Occurring Disorders
This five-state study found that individuals with co-occurring disorders often used hospital inpatient and emergency rooms to access health care, emphasizing the need to provide more cost-effective and accessible services for this population.
Population Selection and Program Monitoring for Vermont's Chronic Care Management and Care Coordination Program
With funding from the Office of Vermont Health Access (OVHA), the Center for Health Policy and Research developed a methodology to select Medicaid members for enrollment in Vermont’s Chronic Care Management and Care Coordination programs. In addition, the Center for Health Policy and Research utilized Medicaid claims to monitor the quality of care provided to members enrolled in the two programs..
Impact of Substance Disorders on Medical Expenditures for Medicaid Beneficiaries with Behavioral Health Disorders
In a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CHPR researchers used Medicaid claims from six states—Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, New Jersey and Washington—to compare the behavioral and general medical expenditures for individuals with and without substance use disorders.
The study found that, compared with other beneficiaries with behavioral health disorders, individuals with substance use disorders had significantly higher expenditures for physical health problems in five of the six states, a difference that remained statistically significant even after adjustment for higher overall disease burden among beneficiaries with addictions. CHPR researchers concluded that spending estimates based only on behavioral health diagnoses may significantly underestimate addictions-related costs, particularly for older adults.