News & Bulletins Archive

In their new study, Assessing Compliance with Hospital Price Transparency over Time, Hilltop Principal Data Scientist Morgan Henderson, PhD, and Policy Analyst Morgane Mouslim, DVM, ScM, use a nationwide data set of 4,834 hospitals to examine compliance with hospital price transparency regulations over time. They also assess the extent to which certain factors are associated with improving compliance.

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Hilltop Principal Data Scientist Morgan Henderson, PhD, and Policy Analyst Morgane Mouslim, DVM, ScM, have been awarded a grant from Arnold Ventures to fund research using newly available payer price transparency files. These price transparency files have been public since July 1, 2022, and are the result of federal regulation mandating that all health insurers and payers publicly post machine-readable data files containing the negotiated rates for all providers with which they contract, as well as all services those providers provide.

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The Medicaid Outcomes Distributed Research Network (MODRN) has recently published several journal articles discussing the findings of its multi-state research project titled Examining the Quality of Opioid Use Disorder Treatment in a Medicaid Research Network that assessed opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment quality and outcomes in Medicaid. The purpose of the assessment is to inform policy decisions on coverage and payment for Medicaid evidence-based OUD treatments. Hilltop Senior Policy Analyst Shamis Mohamoud, MA, is Hilltop’s lead analyst on the project and is a co-author of the publications.

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Two recently released podcasts—­one in Healthcare Upside/Down and one in UMBC’s Retrieving the Social Sciences series—feature Hilltop researchers Morgan Henderson and Morgane Mouslim and their work on hospital pricing.

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Hilltop’s newly funded National Science Foundation (NSF) project on hospital pricing behavior is featured in a new article by State of Reform, an organization focused on conversations that bridge the gap between health care and the policy that governs it.

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A new article from UMBC showcases the many ways Hilltop is using complex data analytics to advance the health and wellbeing of people and communities. Titled The Hilltop Institute at UMBC revolutionizes data analytics to advance health and wellbeing, the article discusses some of Hilltop’s cutting-edge projects, analytic tools, and collaborative work style that serve to make it one the country’s leading public university-based health policy research centers.

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Hilltop Principal Data Scientist Morgan Henderson, PhD, and Policy Analyst Morgane Mouslim, DVM, ScM, have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a project titled Provider Pricing Behavior and Health Policy.

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The cash prices for emergency room (ER) “facility fees” are associated with various hospital and regional characteristics, new research from The Hilltop Institute at UMBC shows. The study—conducted by Principal Data Scientist Morgan Henderson, PhD, and Policy Analyst Morgane Mouslim, ScM, DVM, and published in the July issue of Health Affairs—uses newly released “standard charge” data, now available because of a 2021 hospital price transparency regulation mandating that almost all hospitals across the country disclose previously confidential data on the prices that they charge for the items and services they provide.

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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.

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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.

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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.