News & Bulletins

The Hilltop Institute periodically posts news items and issues electronic bulletins to disseminate information about Hilltop activities and publications. Below are the three most recent. Go to the News and Bulletin Archive, below, to view previous posts.

Hilltop Researcher Presents at APPAM Fall Research Conference on Costs of Tobacco Use

Hilltop Senior Policy Analyst Charles Betley, MA, helped organize and participated on a panel titled Tobacco Costs: Present and Future Measurements and Effects at the 2019 Fall Research Conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) held in Denver, Colorado November 7-9, 2019. The panel discussed three papers that used different methods to examine the consequences of smoking and how high cigarette taxes are causing a rise in e-cigarette use. The findings from these studies offered new and timely information that can directly inform policymakers.

In his presentation, titled Estimating the Costs to Mississippi Medicaid Attributable to Tobacco, Betley talked about how policy studies are judged, based on both policymakers’ interests and researchers’ scientific directive. He then discussed the innovative methodology of the study: the use of state Medicaid claims data to estimate the costs of tobacco use to a state Medicaid program. Findings gleaned by this methodology are more timely and accurate than the use of national estimates alone.

Other panel participants were Conor J. Lennon, PhD, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Louisville, who presented a paper titled Paying for the Medical Costs of Smoking: New Evidence from the Employer Mandate and Catherine Maclean, PhD, Associate Professor of Economics at Temple University, who presented a paper titled The Effect of e-Cigarette Taxes on Tobacco Product Use among Adults.


Bulletin: The Hilltop Institute Helps Maryland Lower Health Insurance Premiums

Open enrollment is now underway, and premiums for health insurance offered through the Maryland Health Connection, Maryland’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace, will be lower in 2020 because of the state’s reinsurance program. Hilltop was an important behind-the-scenes player in developing the reinsurance program.

Read the Bulletin.


Hilltop Researcher Presents at National Conference on Tobacco or Health

Hilltop Senior Policy Analyst Charles Betley, MA, presented a poster titled Estimating the Costs to Mississippi Medicaid Attributable to Tobacco Using Paid Amounts to Providers for Tobacco-Related Illnesses at the National Network of Public Health Institutes’ 2019 National Conference on Tobacco or Health held August 27-29 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The poster presented Hilltop’s study funded by the Center for Mississippi Health Policy, describing the methodology and the study’s results, which estimated that tobacco-related illness made up 9 percent of Mississippi Medicaid’s health care spending. View the poster.