News & Bulletins Archive

Hilltop staff presented at the 2022 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting (ARM) held June 4-7, 2022, in Washington DC. The ARM is the gathering place for individuals leading the charge to transform delivery systems and health care in a rapidly changing landscape.

Principal Data Scientist Morgan Henderson, PhD, presented a poster titled Medicaid Expansion Studies: Why Do Net Cost Estimates Differ So Much? In addition, he served as an expert on a panel that discussed working in the field of health services research. Data Scientist Leigh Goetschius, PhD, presented a poster titled Evaluating the Impact of Geographic Granularity for Area-Based Social Determinants of Health When Predicting Avoidable Hospital Events. To view the presentations, click on the titles.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) gave states the option to expand Medicaid eligibility to individuals with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL). To date, 38 states and the District of Columbia have chosen to expand Medicaid; Mississippi is 1 of the 12 states that have not chosen to do so. To provide more information for Mississippi policymakers in their deliberations on this issue, the Center for Mississippi Health Policy commissioned The Hilltop Institute to conduct a study to estimate the effects of a hypothetical Medicaid expansion on Mississippi’s Medicaid program, state costs, health services providers, and wider state economy.

Hilltop’s study, titled The Economic Impact of Medicaid Expansion in Mississippi, 2023–2028is presented in a full technical report and a summary report. In addition, a literature review has been published. The research team included Principal Data Scientist Morgan Henderson, PhD; Principal Policy Analyst Charles Betley, MA; Chief Data Scientist Ian Stockwell, PhD; Deputy Director Alice Middleton, JD; Policy Analyst Matthew Clark, MPH; and Executive Director Cynthia Woodcock, MBA. The Center for Mississippi Health Policy also published an issue brief that summarizes the study findings.

Read the Bulletin.

Hilltop researchers Morgan Henderson, PhD, and Morgane Mouslim, DVM, spoke with Dr. Nick van Terhayden (Dr. Nick) about hospital price transparency on his podcast The Incrementalist on January 24, 2022. Read the blog post and listen to the podcast.

Read the Bulletin.

With funding from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Medicaid Outcomes Distributed Research Network (MODRN) members and AcademyHealth conducted key informant interviews with nine states to describe the roles that Medicaid programs have taken to address the opioid epidemic and their policy and operational decisions. The findings of this research have been published by AcademyHealth in a report titled State Medicaid Agencies’ Multi-Faceted Response to the Opioid Epidemic.

As the MODRN research partner for Maryland, Hilltop’s research team worked with the Maryland Department of Health (the state partner) to provide the information for Maryland. Hilltop Chief of Staff Alice Middleton, JD, is a co-author of the report. Other members of Hilltop’s research team include Director of Medicaid Policy Studies David Idala, MA, Senior Policy Analyst Shamis Mohamoud, MA, and Policy Analyst Matthew Clark, MPH.

Learn more about Hilltop’s work with MODRN and the opioid epidemic here.

A new study just published in Health Services Research by Hilltop researchers Morgan Henderson, PhD, Fei Han, PhD, and Ian Stockwell, PhD, and their partners at the Maryland Primary Care Program (MDPCP) Chad Perman, MPP, and Howard Haft, MD, documents the underpinnings, development, and performance of the Hilltop Pre-AH Model™. The Hilltop Pre-AH Model™ is a risk prediction model that uses a variety of risk factors derived from Medicare claims data to estimate the probability that a given individual incurs an avoidable hospital event in the near future. These risk scores are intended to assist MDPCP practices with the identification of patients that have a high risk of incurring an avoidable hospitalization or emergency department visit and are currently estimated for almost 400,000 individuals spanning over 500 primary care practices in Maryland. The authors found that 48.7% of avoidable hospital events are incurred by the top 10% riskiest individuals as of April 2020, indicating strong model accuracy, and that the scores significantly outperform the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services hierarchical condition category risk scores in terms of predictive power. Read the abstract.

Learn more about the Hilltop Pre-AH Model™.

In a new HealthAffairs blog post, Hilltop researchers Morgane Mouslim, DVM, ScM, and Morgan Henderson, PhD, describe their continued work on hospital price transparency. Mouslim and Henderson have been investigating hospital price transparency and the effects of the January 2021 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) final rule that requires hospitals to publish the prices of their services.

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The Hilltop Institute has opened a search for a Senior Director of Technology and Compliance/Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to lead the development of the organizational vision for technologic innovation, translating that vision into strategic priorities and work plans, tracking progress toward goals and priorities, and ensuring delivery of technology solutions that solidify Hilltop’s standing as a leading data-driven state health policy research organization.

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To see the full job announcement and to apply, go here.

Hilltop Executive Director Cynthia Woodcock partnered with Attorney Michael N. Fine to present a session titled State Oversight of Hospital Community Benefits at the October 19, 2021, American Health Law Association meeting, 2021 AHLA Tax Issues for Health Care Organizations. In their presentation, Woodcock and Fine gave an overview of federal community benefit rules, described the post-Affordable Care Act landscape and recent federal activity, and discussed Oregon’s new law establishing community benefit spending floors and other policy levers used by states to promote population health through hospital community benefit activities. View the presentation. For more information, go here.

The New York Times partnered with Hilltop researchers Morgan Henderson and Morgane Mouslim for a front-page article and a companion article in its Sunday, August 22, 2021 edition on hospital pricing. In a new HillTopic post, Hilltop Executive Director Cynthia Woodcock discusses the issue of hospital price transparency and Drs. Henderson and Mouslim’s research.

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Although Maryland has made substantial progress in “rebalancing” Medicaid expenditures for long-term services and supports from institutional care to home and community-based services (HCBS) and the number of individuals who are using HCBS has increased, program availability is limited and registries of individuals seeking these services remain long.

In a new HillTopic post, Executive Director Cynthia Woodcock discusses this issue and introduces a just-published Hilltop report on this topic that was presented to the Joint Chairmen of the Maryland General Assembly.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Read the blog post.

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).

Read the Bulletin.

Read the UMBCNews Article.


Hilltop continues to work remotely, so please reach us by email. You can find our team members’ email addresses by going to their bios located on the Teams page of our website.