News & Bulletins Archive

Hillltop’s Executive Director Cynthia Woodcock participated in a National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) webinar on January 10, 2017, titled Hospital Community Benefit Spending: How to Increase Investments in Population Health. The webinar explored the laws governing community benefit spending, discussed how changes in IRS rules could encourage more investment by hospitals in efforts to improve community health, and described what levers states have to engage on this issue. In her presentation, Woodcock discussed opportunities for states; more specifically, promoting community involvement in the community health needs assessment (CHNA) process; using regulatory tools to incentivize a focus on social and economic determinants of health; encouraging hospital transparency and accountability; and the implications of repeal and replace.

View the slides.
View the webinar.

The Hilltop Institute at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has opened a search for two Deputy Directors.

Read the Bulletin.

Hilltop Executive Director Cynthia Woodcock gave a presentation and participated in a roundtable at the 2016 Fall Research Conference of the Association for Public Policy & Management (APPAM), titled The Role of Research in Making Government More Effective, on November 3, 2016 in Washington, DC. The roundtable, titled State-University Partnerships: Generating Evidence to Support State Health Policymaking, featured three leaders from partnerships that are participating in AcademyHealth’s State-University Partnership Learning Network who provided examples of policy and data analyses they are conducting for their respective states; discussed how state policymakers have used their studies; highlighted issues related to data collection, linkage, and analytic methodologies; and offered insights into the challenges, opportunities, and overall value of participating in such partnerships. In her presentation titled State-University Partnerships: Generating Evidence to Support State Policymaking-the Maryland Experience, Woodcock discussed Hilltop’s work to support Maryland’s All Payer Model. Hilltop is conducting analytics, developing cost analysis methodologies, and developing and analyzing metrics and performance measures for Maryland’s State Innovation Model (SIM) Project, which is developing Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) for persons fully eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligibles).

The Hilltop Institute’s Hospital Community Benefit Program has just released the June 2016 update of its online resource, the Community Benefit State Law Profiles, and has published a new issue brief in its Hospital Community Benefits after the ACA series.

Read the News Alert. 

The Hilltop Institute is pleased to announce the success of its 7th invitational symposium, Taking Hospital Community Benefit Policy to the Next Level: Advancing Community Health, which convened on June 15, 2016.

The symposium brought together over 120 policymakers, researchers, and other key stakeholders from around the country to examine these opportunities, reflect on the challenges, and provoke innovative thinking on advancing community health through hospital community benefit policy.

Read the Bulletin.
Go directly to the symposium page.

Hilltop staff made several presentations at the 2016 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting (ARM) in Boston. Senior Policy Analyst Charles Betley, MA, delivered a podium presentation, State and Federal Income Support Programs and Effects on Dual Eligible Health Care Use and Cost, at the State Health Research and Policy Interest Group Meeting (June 25). At the main meeting (June 26), Senior Policy Analyst Shamis Mohamoud, MA, gave a podium presentation, Evaluation of the Maryland Medicaid Chronic Health Homes Program. In addition, Hilltop staff presented posters at both the interest group and main meeting. Executive Director Cynthia H. Woodcock, MBA, presented a poster for Director of Special Studies Ian Stockwell, PhD: Maryland Full-Benefit Dual-Eligible Beneficiaries’ Use of Medicare and Medicaid Services Preceding and Following a Medicare Inpatient Stay (June 25 and 26). Senior Policy Analyst Alexis Smirnow, MPH, presented a poster titled Development and Evaluation of a Provider Directory Verification Survey for Maryland Medicaid (June 25 and 27). Policy Analyst Jamie John, MPH, presented a poster titled ACA Medicaid Expansion and Diabetes: A Comparison of Emergency Department and Inpatient Use among Expansion and Non-Expansion Enrollees with Diabetes (June 27).Finally, Director of Special Research Studies Michael T. Abrams, MPH, displayed a poster titled The Prevalence of Opioid Use Disorders in Baltimore City (June 27). To view the presentations, click on the titles.

The Hilltop Institute has published a chart book and three reports on the demographics, service utilization, and expenditures of Maryland’s dual-eligible population. The analyses focus on Medicare beneficiaries in Maryland who also receive full Medicaid benefits. The findings provide an overview of how this population accesses health care services, the types of services used, and where the services are provided.

Read the Bulletin.

Hilltop staff participated in two sessions at the 6th Annual Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) Executive Leadership Institute held December 7 through 9 in Baltimore, MD.

Director of the Hilltop Hospital Community Benefit Program, Gayle D. Nelson, JD, MPH, gave a presentation on a panel titled Making the Case to Healthcare, which addressed options for obtaining sustainable funding sources for healthy housing projects. In her presentation, titled Aligning Hospital Community Benefit, Community Health, and Healthy Housing, Nelson explained that federally tax-exempt hospitals are required to provide benefits to their communities in exchange for tax exemption; and outlined approaches, detailed in IRS regulations, that organizations can use to present their cases to hospitals. View the slides.

Senior Research Analyst Michael T. Abrams, MPH, participated in an interactive session titled Data Collection and Evaluation: Cost Benefit Analysis for GHHI Interventions. The session outlined—for GHHI leadership and partners—strategies and specific methods used to evaluate and monitor an intervention. Abrams described a HUD-funded project in Baltimore City that aims to assess the impact of GHHI’s in-home asthma-abatement intervention on health care utilization, heating/cooling energy use, and work/school attendance.

On Friday, December 4, Hilltop Senior Research Analyst and UMBC Public Policy PhD candidate Michael T. Abrams, MPH, gave the 2015 Judith A. Shinogle Memorial Fellowship lecture at UMBC. Abrams discussed the research projects—spearheaded by Shinogle before her tragic death in 2012—that he and UMBC researchers are conducting to inform policy decisions about health care and treatment for adults with serious mental illness, and children with asthma. He also discussed his dissertation research, which focuses on the impact of news coverage on the dissemination of prescription drug warnings issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Colleagues from Hilltop and UMBC’s School of Public Policy, faculty mentors, research partners, friends, and family members joined Abrams to celebrate his achievement. The award was established by Shinogle’s family in her memory to provide encouragement for doctoral students committed to health policy research. Abrams was selected by a faculty committee in recognition of his outstanding scholarship and research in health policy. At Hilltop, Abrams conducts quantitative and qualitative policy and health services research related to the brain and the behavioral health of Medicaid and other low-income populations.

Watch Abrams’ presentation.

View the slides.

The Hilltop Institute’s Hospital Community Benefit Program has just released the fall 2015 update of its online resource, the Community Benefit State Law Profiles, and has published a new issue brief in its Hospital Community Benefits after the ACA series.

Read the News Alert. 

On November 6, 2015, Hilltop Hospital Community Benefit Program Director Gayle D. Nelson, JD, MPH, gave a presentation and participated in a panel discussion at a session titled Health and Housing: Collaboration and Innovation at the 2015 National Housing Conference in New Orleans, LA. Nelson gave an overview of hospital community benefits; described how federal and state hospital community benefit laws and regulations can support communities addressing social determinates of health, including housing; and discussed how nonprofit tax-exempt hospitals and community development and affordable housing sectors might collaborate to develop healthy housing and communities. View the slides.

Hilltop Senior Research Analyst and UMBC Public Policy PhD candidate Michael T. Abrams, MPH, has been awarded the 2015 Judith A. Shinogle Memorial Fellowship. The fellowship was established by Shinogle’s family in her memory to provide support for doctoral students committed to health policy research. Abrams was selected by a faculty committee in recognition of his outstanding scholarship and research in health policy. He will receive a monetary award and will give a presentation on his dissertation research, which focuses on the impact of news coverage on the dissemination of prescription drug warnings issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. At Hilltop, Abrams directs and conducts quantitative and qualitative policy and health services research related to the brain and the behavioral health of Medicaid and other low-income populations.

Hilltop Hospital Community Benefit Program Director Gayle D. Nelson, JD, gave a presentation titled Federal Requirements for Tax-Exempt Hospitals: the IRS Final Rules at a Payers and Providers webinar titled The New Era: Hospital Community Benefits & Patient Financial Assistance on June 26, 2015. The webinar was attended by a national audience of state policymakers, community benefit directors of hospitals and health plans, financial officers, and providers. In her presentation, Nelson gave an overview of Affordable Care Act (ACA) §9007, “Additional Requirements for Charitable Hospitals,” which added I.R.C. §501(r) when it was enacted in 2010; gave a regulatory history from 2010 to the present; and discussed the Final Rules and their stipulations that were promulgated on December 31, 2014. For more information about this topic, contact Gayle Nelson.

View the slides. 

The Hilltop Institute’s Hospital Community Benefit Program has just released its eleventh issue brief: Hospital Community Benefits after the ACA: Leveraging Hospital Community Benefit Policy to Improve Community Health.

Read the News Alert. 

Hilltop staff made several presentations at the 2015 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting (ARM) held June 13 through June 15 in Minnesota. Senior Policy Analyst Shamis Mohamoud, MA, gave a podium presentation titled Evaluation of the Maryland Medicaid Chronic Health Homes Program on June 13 at the State Health Research and Policy Interest Group Meeting. On June 15, she presented a poster titled Prevalence of and Contributing Factors to Potentially Preventable Hospitalizations among Adult Maryland Medicaid Enrollees. Executive Director Cynthia H. Woodcock, MBA, presented three posters for Director of Special Studies Ian Stockwell, PhD: Using Data to Plan for and Implement Community First ChoiceNew Maryland Duals with Mental Health Conditions: Prior Medicare and Medicaid Resource Use, and The Effects of Managed Long-Term Services and Supports on Service Utilization and Expenditures: A Case Study. Senior Policy Analyst Charles Betley, MA, presented a poster titled Effects of Uninsurance on Tobacco Use Rates and Implications for New Medicaid Enrollment: Evidence from Maryland. Senior Policy Analyst Laura A. Spicer, MA, presented a poster titled Hospital Payment Reform in Maryland: Monitoring Medicaid Total Cost of Care. Senior Research Analyst Michael T. Abrams, MPH, presented two posters:Part D Utilization Management Barriers for Persons with Serious Mental Illness and Psychiatric Hospitalizations among Medicaid-Insured Youth. Lastly, Policy Analyst Carl Mueller, MS, presented a poster titled Dental Access among Children in Medicaid: Is Well Care or Ambulatory Service Utilization a Predictor of Preventive or Diagnostic Dental Service Utilization? To view the presentations, click on the titles.

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.