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News and 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 Co-Authors Two Articles Published in Psychiatric Services

Hilltop Senior Research Analyst Michael T. Abrams, MPH, co-authored two articles published in the April 2014 issue of Psychiatric Services. The articles are both based on a study of low-income young adults (aged 18-26) discharged from an inpatient psychiatric event, a marker for serious mental distress. Identifying Young Adults at Risk of Medicaid Enrollment Lapses after Inpatient Mental Health Treatment discusses a study that identified antecedents to Medicaid enrollment lapses in the year following discharge. Such lapses are undesirable because they suggest absence of medical attention that is especially indicated in the wake of an inpatient psychiatric stay. Medicaid Lapses and Low-Income Young Adults' Receipt of Outpatient Mental Health Care after an Inpatient Stay discusses a second study that estimated the impacts of Medicaid enrollment disruptions on access to mental health services in the same year following inpatient discharge. That study found that Medicaid disruptions correlated with reduced outpatient mental health service utilization and lower medication possession ratios. Jointly, these articles offer information to policymakers and others regarding the reasons and the potentially negative health care consequences of insurance discontinuities for young adults with substantial (albeit emerging) mental health needs. Such young adults represent an important subset of persons who should gain broader access to medical care coverage via the Affordable Care Act. 

Posted 4/11/14

Hilltop Publishes Work on Propensity Score Matching as Method to Study Medicare Part D

In collaboration with a team that includes researchers at Johns Hopkins and UMBC's Department of Public Policy, researchers at The Hilltop Institute have published a new peer-reviewed article in the AcademyHealth journal eGEMs titled Estimating Causal Effects in Observational Studies Using Electronic Health Data: Challenges and (some) Solutions. Researchers used Medicaid and Medicare administrative data to study the impact of the Medicare prescription drug program, Part D (first implemented in 2006), on persons with serious mental illness (SMI). Such a study is important because persons with SMI are medically vulnerable and because a large proportion of their prescription drug health care coverage shifted from state to federal responsibility as a result of the Part D program. The published study describes propensity score methods to "match" persons with Medicare and Medicaid coverage (dual eligibles) to persons with similar demographic and health profiles who are only engaged in Medicaid. Such matching is necessary to balance the selected samples so that they are comparable for inference testing. The suggested citation for this work appears below, and the full article can be viewed here: For more information about this work, please contact Hilltop Senior Policy Analyst, Michael Abrams at

Stuart, E. A., DuGoff, E., Abrams, M., Salkever, D., & Steinwachs, D. (2013). Estimating causal effects in observational studies using electronic health data: Challenges and (some) solutions. eGEMs (Generating Evidence & Methods to improve patient outcomes), Vol. 1, Iss. 3, Article 4. DOI: 10.13063/2327-9214.1038

Posted 12/18/13 

Bulletin: Hilltop Receives Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant to Continue Hospital Community Benefit Program Issue Brief Series

The Hilltop Institute’s Hospital Community Benefit Program has received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation® to continue to provide timely information on emerging trends and important issues related to community benefit. The program will produce three issue briefs as part of its Hospital Community Benefits after the ACA series over an eighteen-month period, the first of which will be published in the spring of 2014.

Read the Bulletin.

Posted 11/14/13 

News and Bulletin Archive