News & Bulletins Archive

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 Executive Director Cynthia H. Woodcock was interviewed for and quoted in an article in the May-June 2015 issue of the Healthcare Journal of Little Rock titled The Cost of Caring by John W. Mitchell. The article focuses on the tension for nonprofit tax-exempt hospitals between requirements that they provide community benefits and the financial costs to them of providing expensive life-saving treatments, all while remaining financially viable. Woodcock discussed that under the Affordable Care Act and the new 501r Final Rule, hospital billing and collection practices have improved for patients, and that increases in coverage have afforded increased access to healthcare. The article also referenced the Hilltop Hospital Community Benefit Program’s State Law Profiles, which present a comprehensive analysis of each of the 50 state’s community benefit landscape as defined by its laws, regulations, tax exemptions, and, in some cases, policies and activities of state executive agencies. Click here to read the article.

New results generated by a team of UMBC researchers (from The Hilltop Institute, the Department of Public Policy, and MIPAR) recently revealed that persons with serious mental illness (SMI) who also have co-occurring substance use disorders (SUD) appear less likely to use or benefit from programs designed to help them find work and stay employed. Based on careful Maryland Medicaid and public mental health system data exploration from the mid-2000s when “place and train” supported employment (SE) programming efforts were expanded in the state, researchers found that SE uptake rates were on the order of 1.6 to 2.8 percent among those with SMI and SUD, whereas the analogous range was significantly higher at 4.1 to 4.7 percent for those with SMI only. Moreover, among persons receiving SE at some point, follow-up data into the years 2007-2010 indicated that rates of employment for the co-occurring group was only 19 percent compared to 29 percent for the SMI group without SUD. Future work will consider apparent antecedents to these disparities toward the development of strategies to increase SE uptake among persons with SMI and SUD. Additional work will look at uptake correlates and strategies more broadly.

This research was lead by Dr. David Salkever (UMBC Department of Public Policy) with funding support from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Salkever presented these results at an April 2015 meeting in Barcelona, Spain. Hilltop Senior Research Analyst Michael Abrams, MPH, was a co-investigator on this work, and most of the analytic data set creation took place at Hilltop. For more information about this research, contact mabrams@hilltop.umbc.edu.

Presentation Citation: Salkever, D., Gibbons, B., Abrams, M., & Baier, K. (2015, April 15). Disparities in access to and effectiveness of evidence-based supported employment for persons with co-occurring serious mental illness (SMI) and substance use disorder (SUD): Evidence from a state-wide policy intervention. Fourth International Congress on Dual Disorders. Barcelona, Spain. View the presentation.

Hilltop is a partner with Benefits Data Trust (BDT), the Maryland Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and Human Resources (DHR), and the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing on a newly funded research grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to measure whether specific non-clinical interventions–such as enrollment into federally funded public benefit programs–improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs. The research team will study the impact of SNAP (food stamps) and home energy assistance on community-dwelling older adults eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (dual-eligibles) residing in Maryland—a particularly vulnerable population with high health care costs. This research will provide a roadmap to understanding the true impact that safety net programs have on health care outcomes. For more information, contact Mike Nolin.

The Hilltop Institute’s Hospital Community Benefit Program has just released an update of its online resource, the Community Benefit State Law Profiles, and has published a new issue brief, Hospital Community Benefits after the ACA: State Law Changes and Promotion of Community Health.

Read the News Alert.