The Hilltop Institute is pleased to welcome Todd Switzer as Chief Actuary and Director of Rate Setting and Financial Analysis. In this role, Switzer will lead Hilltop’s work with the Maryland Department of Health to develop risk-adjusted capitation payments for health plans participating in HealthChoice, Maryland’s Medicaid managed care program, which insures over 1.3 million Marylanders. Switzer will join Hilltop on June 1.
The Hilltop Institute at UMBC has been awarded research funding for three new projects, the findings of which will inform both national and state health policy—State Medicaid Fees for Services Related to Opioid Use Disorder: Building the Evidence-Base to Inform State Policies, Healthcare Utilization of Violence-Related Injury in the State of Maryland, and Estimating the Costs to Mississippi Medicaid for Expansion to Childless Adults.
Duane Glossner, The Hilltop Institute’s Director of Rate Setting, has announced his retirement effective December 31, 2020. For the past 21 years, Duane’s stalwart leadership and expert technical support for Maryland’s rate setting process has been unparalleled.
In Hilltop’s inaugural HillTopic blog post, Executive Director Cynthia Woodcock writes about partnerships between state Medicaid programs and public universities and shares two value propositions she authored.
Dr. Fei Han has received a COVID-19 Accelerated Translational Incubator Pilot (ATIP) award for research to help predict and reduce patients’ risk of being hospitalized due to COVID-19. He will further develop the Hilltop Pre-AH Model™, a preventative risk model, to apply to pandemic conditions.
The project is funded by UMBC and the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) Institute for Clinical & Translational Research (ITCR).
Educational institutions are critical voices in a democratic society. It is incumbent on all of us to educate ourselves on the inherent worth of all individuals, particularly Black people and other people of color whose lives, health, and wellbeing are threatened. As partners in building a democratic society, we should not be silent.
UMBC’s Hilltop Institute stands against racism in all its forms—systemic (structural and institutional) and interpersonal—and we embrace the words of our President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Phillip Rous that we share here.
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.
The Hilltop Institute at UMBC, with its partners ServBeyond Solutions and A-G Associates, has just been awarded a $2 million contract from the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) to develop a multi-payer claims analytic tool (MCAT).
Hilltop Executive Director Cynthia Woodcock joined Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Professor Peter Cunningham in an AcademyHealth blog post to discuss the findings of the VCU/Hilltop study that examined the experience with §1115 waivers for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment in Maryland and Virginia.
The Hilltop Institute at UMBC, in partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s (UMB SOM’s) Department of Emergency Medicine, has just received funding to develop and test a measure of hospital quality that assesses hospitals based on the frequency of downstream clinically relevant readmissions (DCRR) as opposed to blanket 30-day all-cause readmissions.
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.
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.
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.
With two recently awarded grants, Hilltop is contributing to the development and deployment of MODRN, developed by members of the State-University Partnership Learning Network (SUPLN) and hosted by AcademyHealth. MODRN facilitates efficient, data-driven, cross-state comparisons of Medicaid initiatives to advance policymaking. The distributed research network model enables high-quality analyses of multiple states’ Medicaid administrative data without the need to share sensitive person-level data across states.
Hilltop, with its nationally recognized 25-year partnership with the Maryland Medicaid program, is one of the founding members of the SUPLN, which now boasts 25 partnerships in 23 states. Cynthia Woodcock, Hilltop’s executive director, chairs the SUPLN steering committee. Julie Donohue, PhD, Professor of Health Policy and Management and Director of the Medicaid Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh, is leading the development of MODRN on behalf of the SUPLN. Under MODRN, each state-university partnership adopts a common data model, contributes to a common analytic plan, and conducts analyses locally on its own Medicaid data using standardized code. Findings are aggregated and shared across states.
Hilltop is proud to announce that Senior Policy Analyst Oludolapo Fakeye, PhD, MA won the award for best student poster at the 2019 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting (ARM), held in Washington, DC, from June 1 to 4, 2019. View his winning poster, Disparities in Quality Performance among Patient-Centered Medical Homes by Proportion of Low-Income Patients Served. Four other Hilltop staff gave presentations as well.