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The Hilltop Institute


April 27, 2020

New Report Releases Findings of VCU/Hilltop Evaluation of Substance Use Disorder Waiver Experience in Virginia and Maryland

A report just published by AcademyHealth has released the findings of a study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and The Hilltop Institute at UMBC that examined the experience with §1115 waivers for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment in Maryland and Virginia. VCU and Hilltop researchers found that while these waivers expanded access to residential treatment services, coordination across providers and settings of care and overall system capacity remain long-term challenges. Findings also highlight that states with these waivers have different starting points with respect to coverage of addiction treatment services and delivery system infrastructure, which affects waiver implementation and ultimate impact. In particular, states with less robust coverage and delivery systems prior to waiver implementation require more extensive preparations, outreach, and provider training on the part of state agencies.

The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Research in Transforming Health and Health Care Systems program managed by AcademyHealth. VCU Professor Peter Cunningham and Hilltop Executive Director Cynthia Woodcock were the co-principal investigators. In addition to Woodcock, Hilltop’s research team included Senior Director of Policy and Research/Chief of Staff Alice Middleton, Director of Medicaid Policy Studies David Idala, and Policy Analyst Matt Clark.

Read the report.

Read an earlier blog post on the study.

Learn more about Hilltop’s work on behavioral health.

The Hilltop Institute is a nonpartisan research organization at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of people and communities. We conduct cutting-edge data analytics and translational research on behalf of government agencies, foundations, and nonprofit organizations to inform public policy at the national, state, and local levels.

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