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1.  Proceedings of the 14th annual conference of INEBRIA 
Holloway, Aisha S. | Ferguson, Jennifer | Landale, Sarah | Cariola, Laura | Newbury-Birch, Dorothy | Flynn, Amy | Knight, John R. | Sherritt, Lon | Harris, Sion K. | O’Donnell, Amy J. | Kaner, Eileen | Hanratty, Barbara | Loree, Amy M. | Yonkers, Kimberly A. | Ondersma, Steven J. | Gilstead-Hayden, Kate | Martino, Steve | Adam, Angeline | Schwartz, Robert P. | Wu, Li-Tzy | Subramaniam, Geetha | Sharma, Gaurav | McNeely, Jennifer | Berman, Anne H. | Kolaas, Karoline | Petersén, Elisabeth | Bendtsen, Preben | Hedman, Erik | Linderoth, Catharina | Müssener, Ulrika | Sinadinovic, Kristina | Spak, Fredrik | Gremyr, Ida | Thurang, Anna | Mitchell, Ann M. | Finnell, Deborah | Savage, Christine L. | Mahmoud, Khadejah F. | Riordan, Benjamin C. | Conner, Tamlin S. | Flett, Jayde A. M. | Scarf, Damian | McRee, Bonnie | Vendetti, Janice | Gallucci, Karen Steinberg | Robaina, Kate | Clark, Brendan J. | Jones, Jacqueline | Reed, Kathryne D. | Hodapp, Rachel M. | Douglas, Ivor | Burnham, Ellen L. | Aagaard, Laura | Cook, Paul F. | Harris, Brett R. | Yu, Jiang | Wolff, Margaret | Rogers, Meighan | Barbosa, Carolina | Wedehase, Brendan J. | Dunlap, Laura J. | Mitchell, Shannon G. | Dusek, Kristi A. | Gryczynski, Jan | Kirk, Arethusa S. | Oros, Marla T. | Hosler, Colleen | O’Grady, Kevin E. | Brown, Barry S. | Angus, Colin | Sherborne, Sidney | Gillespie, Duncan | Meier, Petra | Brennan, Alan | de Vargas, Divane | Soares, Janaina | Castelblanco, Donna | Doran, Kelly M. | Wittman, Ian | Shelley, Donna | Rotrosen, John | Gelberg, Lillian | Edelman, E. Jennifer | Maisto, Stephen A. | Hansen, Nathan B. | Cutter, Christopher J. | Deng, Yanhong | Dziura, James | Fiellin, Lynn E. | O’Connor, Patrick G. | Bedimo, Roger | Gibert, Cynthia | Marconi, Vincent C. | Rimland, David | Rodriguez-Barradas, Maria C. | Simberkoff, Michael S. | Justice, Amy C. | Bryant, Kendall J. | Fiellin, David A. | Giles, Emma L. | Coulton, Simon | Deluca, Paolo | Drummond, Colin | Howel, Denise | McColl, Elaine | McGovern, Ruth | Scott, Stephanie | Stamp, Elaine | Sumnall, Harry | Vale, Luke | Alabani, Viviana | Atkinson, Amanda | Boniface, Sadie | Frankham, Jo | Gilvarry, Eilish | Hendrie, Nadine | Howe, Nicola | McGeechan, Grant J. | Ramsey, Amy | Stanley, Grant | Clephane, Justine | Gardiner, David | Holmes, John | Martin, Neil | Shevills, Colin | Soutar, Melanie | Chi, Felicia W. | Weisner, Constance | Ross, Thekla B. | Mertens, Jennifer | Sterling, Stacy A. | Shorter, Gillian W. | Heather, Nick | Bray, Jeremy | Cohen, Hildie A. | McPherson, Tracy L. | Adam, Cyrille | López-Pelayo, Hugo | Gual, Antoni | Segura-Garcia, Lidia | Colom, Joan | Ornelas, India J. | Doyle, Suzanne | Donovan, Dennis | Duran, Bonnie | Torres, Vanessa | Gaume, Jacques | Grazioli, Véronique | Fortini, Cristiana | Paroz, Sophie | Bertholet, Nicolas | Daeppen, Jean-Bernard | Satterfield, Jason M. | Gregorich, Steven | Alvarado, Nicholas J. | Muñoz, Ricardo | Kulieva, Gozel | Vijayaraghavan, Maya | Adam, Angéline | Cunningham, John A. | Díaz, Estela | Palacio-Vieira, Jorge | Godinho, Alexandra | Kushir, Vladyslav | O’Brien, Kimberly H. M. | Aguinaldo, Laika D. | Sellers, Christina M. | Spirito, Anthony | Chang, Grace | Blake-Lamb, Tiffany | LaFave, Lea R. Ayers | Thies, Kathleen M. | Pepin, Amy L. | Sprangers, Kara E. | Bradley, Martha | Jorgensen, Shasta | Catano, Nico A. | Murray, Adelaide R. | Schachter, Deborah | Andersen, Ronald M. | Rey, Guillermina Natera | Vahidi, Mani | Rico, Melvin W. | Baumeister, Sebastian E. | Johansson, Magnus | Sinadinovic, Christina | Hermansson, Ulric | Andreasson, Sven | O’Grady, Megan A. | Kapoor, Sandeep | Akkari, Cherine | Bernal, Camila | Pappacena, Kristen | Morley, Jeanne | Auerbach, Mark | Neighbors, Charles J. | Kwon, Nancy | Conigliaro, Joseph | Morgenstern, Jon | Magill, Molly | Apodaca, Timothy R. | Borsari, Brian | Hoadley, Ariel | Scott Tonigan, J. | Moyers, Theresa | Fitzgerald, Niamh M. | Schölin, Lisa | Barticevic, Nicolas | Zuzulich, Soledad | Poblete, Fernando | Norambuena, Pablo | Sacco, Paul | Ting, Laura | Beaulieu, Michele | Wallace, Paul George | Andrews, Matthew | Daley, Kate | Shenker, Don | Gallagher, Louise | Watson, Rod | Weaver, Tim | Bruguera, Pol | Oliveras, Clara | Gavotti, Carolina | Barrio, Pablo | Braddick, Fleur | Miquel, Laia | Suárez, Montse | Bruguera, Carla | Brown, Richard L. | Capell, Julie Whelan | Paul Moberg, D. | Maslowsky, Julie | Saunders, Laura A. | McCormack, Ryan P. | Scheidell, Joy | Gonzalez, Mirelis | Bauroth, Sabrina | Liu, Weiwei | Lindsay, Dawn L. | Lincoln, Piper | Hagle, Holly | Wallhed Finn, Sara | Hammarberg, Anders | Andréasson, Sven | King, Sarah E. | Vargo, Rachael | Kameg, Brayden N. | Acquavita, Shauna P. | Van Loon, Ruth Anne | Smith, Rachel | Brehm, Bonnie J. | Diers, Tiffiny | Kim, Karissa | Barker, Andrea | Jones, Ashley L. | Skinner, Asheley C. | Hinman, Agatha | Svikis, Dace S. | Thacker, Casey L. | Resnicow, Ken | Beatty, Jessica R. | Janisse, James | Puder, Karoline | Bakshi, Ann-Sofie | Milward, Joanna M. | Kimergard, Andreas | Garnett, Claire V. | Crane, David | Brown, Jamie | West, Robert | Michie, Susan | Rosendahl, Ingvar | Andersson, Claes | Gajecki, Mikael | Blankers, Matthijs | Donoghue, Kim | Lynch, Ellen | Maconochie, Ian | Phillips, Ceri | Pockett, Rhys | Phillips, Tom | Patton, R. | Russell, Ian | Strang, John | Stewart, Maureen T. | Quinn, Amity E. | Brolin, Mary | Evans, Brooke | Horgan, Constance M. | Liu, Junqing | McCree, Fern | Kanovsky, Doug | Oberlander, Tyler | Zhang, Huan | Hamlin, Ben | Saunders, Robert | Barton, Mary B. | Scholle, Sarah H. | Santora, Patricia | Bhatt, Chirag | Ahmed, Kazi | Hodgkin, Dominic | Gao, Wenwu | Merrick, Elizabeth L. | Drebing, Charles E. | Larson, Mary Jo | Sharma, Monica | Petry, Nancy M. | Saitz, Richard | Weisner, Constance M. | Young-Wolff, Kelly C. | Lu, Wendy Y. | Blosnich, John R. | Lehavot, Keren | Glass, Joseph E. | Williams, Emily C. | Bensley, Kara M. | Chan, Gary | Dombrowski, Julie | Fortney, John | Rubinsky, Anna D. | Lapham, Gwen T. | Forray, Ariadna | Olmstead, Todd A. | Gilstad-Hayden, Kathryn | Kershaw, Trace | Dillon, Pamela | Weaver, Michael F. | Grekin, Emily R. | Ellis, Jennifer D. | McGoron, Lucy | McGoron, Lucy
doi:10.1186/s13722-017-0087-8
PMCID: PMC5606215
2.  Access to Addiction Pharmacotherapy in Private Health Plans 
Background
An increasing number of medications are available to treat addictions. To understand access to addiction medications, it is essential to consider the role of private health plans. To contain medication expenditures, most U.S. health plans use cost-sharing and administrative controls, which may impact physicians' prescribing and patients' use of addiction medications. This study identified health plan approaches to manage access to and utilization of addiction medications (oral and injectable naltrexone, acamprosate, and buprenorphine).
Methods
Data are from a nationally representative survey of private health plans in 2010 (n=385 plans, 935 products; response rate 89%), compared to the same survey in 2003. The study assessed formulary inclusion, prior authorization, step therapy, overall restrictiveness, and if and how health plans encourage pharmacotherapy.
Results
Formulary exclusions were rare in 2010, with acamprosate excluded most often, by only 9% of products. Injectable naltrexone was covered by 96% of products. Prior authorization was common for injectable naltrexone (85%) and rare for acamprosate (3%). Step therapy policies were used only for injectable naltrexone (41%) and acamprosate (20%). Several medications were often on the most expensive tier. Changes since 2003 include fewer exclusions, yet increased use of other management approaches. Most health plans encourage use of addiction pharmacotherapy, and use a variety of methods to do so.
Conclusions
Management of addiction medications has increased over time but it is not ubiquitous. However, health plans now also include all medications on formularies and encourage providers to use them, indicating they value addiction pharmacotherapy as an evidence-based practice.
doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2016.03.001
PMCID: PMC4879589  PMID: 27211993
substance use disorders; pharmacotherapy; medication-assisted treatment; insurance; health plans; access
3.  Behavioral Health Services in the Changing Landscape of Private Health Plans 
Objective
Health plans play a key role in facilitating improvements in population health and may engage in activities that have an impact on access, cost, and quality of behavioral health care. Although behavioral health care is becoming more integrated with general medical care, its delivery system has unique aspects. The study examined how health plans deliver and manage behavioral health care in the context of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). This is a critical time to examine how health plans manage behavioral health care.
Methods
A nationally representative survey of private health plans (weighted N=8,431 products; 89% response rate) was conducted in 2010 during the first year of MHPAEA, when plans were subject to the law but before final regulations, and just before the ACA went into effect. The survey addressed behavioral health coverage, cost-sharing, contracting arrangements, medical home innovations, support for technology, and financial incentives to improve behavioral health care.
Results
Coverage for inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services was stable between 2003 and 2010. In 2010, health plans were more likely than in 2003 to manage behavioral health care through internal arrangements and to contract for other services. Medical home initiatives were common and almost always included behavioral health, but financial incentives did not. Some plans facilitated providers’ use of technology to improve care delivery, but this was not the norm.
Conclusions
Health plans are key to mainstreaming and supporting delivery of high-quality behavioral health services. Since 2003, plans have made changes to support delivery of behavioral health services in the context of a rapidly changing environment.
doi:10.1176/appi.ps.201500235
PMCID: PMC4889503  PMID: 26876663
4.  Health Plans’ Early Response to Federal Parity Legislation for Mental Health and Addiction Services 
Objective
In 2008 the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) passed, prohibiting U.S. health plans from subjecting mental health and substance use disorder (behavioral health) coverage to more restrictive limitations than those applied to general medical care. This require d some health plans to make changes in coverage and management of services. The aim of this study was to examine private health plans’ early responses to MHPAEA (after its 2010 implementation), in terms of both the intended and unintended effects.
Methods
Data were from a nationally representative survey of commercial health plans regarding the 2010 benefit year and the preparity 2009 benefit year (weighted N=8,431 products; 89% response rate).
Results
Annual limits specific to behavioral health care were virtually eliminated between 2009 and 2010. Prevalence of behavioral health coverage was unchanged, and copayments for both behavioral and general medical services increased slightly. Prior authorization requirements for specialty medical and behavioral health outpatient services continued to decline, and the proportion of products reporting strict continuing review requirements increased slightly. Contrary to expectations, plans did not make significant changes in contracting arrangements for behavioral health services, and 80% reported an increase in size of their behavioral health provider network.
Conclusions
The law had the intended effect of eliminating quantitative limitations that applied only to behavioral health care without unintended consequences such as eliminating behavioral health coverage. Plan decisions may also reflect other factors, including anticipation of the 2010 regulations and a continuation of trends away from requiring prior authorization.
doi:10.1176/appi.ps.201400575
PMCID: PMC4738051  PMID: 26369886
5.  Management of Newer Antidepressant Medications in U.S. Commercial Health Plans 
Background
Private health insurance plays a large role in the US health system, including for many individuals with depression. Private insurers have been actively trying to influence pharmaceutical utilization and costs, particularly for newer and costlier medications. The approaches that insurers use may have important effects on patients’ access to antidepressant medications.
Aims of the Study
To report which approaches (e.g., tiered copayments, prior authorization, and step therapy) commercial health plans are employing to manage newer antidepressant medications, and how the use of these approaches has changed since 2003.
Methods
Data are from a nationally representative survey of commercial health plans in 60 market areas regarding alcohol, drug abuse and mental health services in 2010. Responses were obtained from 389 plans (89% response rate), reporting on 925 insurance products. For each of six branded antidepressant medications, respondents were asked whether the plan covered the medication and if so, on what copayment tier, and whether it was subject to prior authorization or step therapy. Measures of management approach were constructed for each medication and for the group of medications. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to test for association of the management approach with various health plan characteristics.
Results
Less than 1% of health plan products excluded any of the six antidepressants studied. Medications were more likely to be subjected to restrictions if they were newer, more expensive or were reformulations. 55% of products used placement on a high cost-sharing tier (3 or 4) as their only form of restriction for newer branded antidepressants. This proportion was lower than in 2003, when 71% of products took this approach. In addition, only 2% of products left all the newer branded medications unrestricted, down from 25% in 2003. Multivariate analysis indicated that preferred provider organizations were more likely than other product types to use tier 3 or 4 placement.
Discussion
We find that U.S. health plans are using a variety of strategies to manage cost and utilization of newer branded antidepressant medications. Plans appear to be finding that approaches other than exclusion are adequate to meet their cost-management goals for newer branded antidepressants, although they have increased their use of administrative restrictions since 2003. Limitations include lack of information about how administrative restrictions were applied in practice, information on only six medications, and some potential for endogeneity bias in the regression analyses.
Conclusion
This study has documented substantial use of various restrictions on access to newer branded antidepressants in U.S. commercial health plans. Most of these medications had generic equivalents that offered at least some substitutability, reducing access concerns. At the same time, it is worth noting that high copayments and administrative requirements can nonetheless be burdensome for some patients.
Implications for Health Policy
Health plans’ pharmacy management approaches may concern policymakers less than in the early 2000s, due to the lesser distinctiveness of today’s branded medications. This may change depending on future drug introductions.
Implications for Further Research
Future research should examine the impact of plans’ pharmacy management approaches, using patient-level data.
PMCID: PMC4812668  PMID: 26729008
6.  The diminished pipeline for medications to treat mental health and substance use disorders 
Objective
Psychotropic drug development is perceived to be lagging behind other pharmaceutical development even though there is a need for more effective psychotropic medications. This article examines the state of the current psychotropic drug pipeline and potential barriers to psychotropic drug development.
Methods
We scanned the recent academic and “grey” literature to evaluate the current state of psychotropic drug development and to identify experts in the fields of psychiatry and substance use disorder treatment and psychotropic drug development. Based on that preliminary research, we interviewed six identified experts and then analyzed drugs in Phase III development for major psychiatric disorders.
Results
Our interviews and review of clinical trials for drugs in Phase III of development confirm that the psychotropic pipeline is slim and that the majority of drugs presently in Phase III trials are not very innovative. Among the barriers to development are incentives that encourage firms to focus on incremental innovation rather than taking risks on radically new approaches. Other barriers include human brain complexity, failure of animal trials to translate well into human trials, and a drug approval threshold that is perceived to be so high as to discourage development.
Conclusions
Drivers of innovation in psychotropic drug development largely parallel those for other drugs, yet crucial distinctions have led to slowing psychotropic development after a period of innovation and growth. Various factors have acted to dry up the pipeline for psychotropic drugs, with expert opinion suggesting that in the near term, this trend is likely to continue.
doi:10.1176/appi.ps.201400044
PMCID: PMC4788407  PMID: 25178309
8.  Management of Newer Medications for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder In Commercial Health Plans 
Clinical therapeutics  2014;36(12):2034-2046.
Purpose
In the US, many individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) pay for their medications using private health insurance coverage. As in other drug classes, private insurers are actively seeking to influence utilization and costs, particularly for newer and costlier medications. The approaches that insurers use may have important effects on patients’ access to medications. This paper examines approaches (e.g., copayments, prior authorization, and step therapy) that commercial health plans are employing to manage newer medications used to treat ADHD and changes in approaches since 2003.
Methods
Data are from a nationally representative survey of commercial health plans in 60 market areas regarding alcohol, drug abuse and mental health services in 2010. Responses were obtained from 389 plans (89% response rate), reporting on 925 insurance products. For each of six branded ADHD medications, respondents were asked whether the plan covered the medication and if so, on what copayment tier each medication was placed, and whether it was subject to prior authorization or step therapy. Measures of management approach were constructed for each medication and for the group of medications. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to test for association of the management approach with various health plan characteristics.
Findings
There was considerable variation across these 6 medications in how tightly they were managed by health plans, with newer medications being subject to more stringent management. The proportion of insurance products relying solely on copay tiering to manage novel ADHD medications appears to have decreased since 2003. Less than half of insurance products (43%) managed these 6 medications solely by use of Tier 3/4 placement, and most of the remainder (48%) used other restrictions (with or without Tier 3/4 placement). The average insurance product restricted access to at least 3 of the 6 brand-only medications examined, whether through copayment tier placement or other approaches. More ADHD medications were left unrestricted in HMO products than in PPO ones; products with internal or hybrid-internal contracts for behavioral health; those not contracting with pharmacy benefits managers; and those with for-profit ownership.
Implications
Many plans have supplemented copayment tiering with other approaches such as prior authorization and step therapy to influence utilization and decrease costs. It may be that plans have found copayments to be less effective in redirecting utilization in this medication class. The impact on clinical outcomes was not examined in this study but should be prioritized using other data sources.
doi:10.1016/j.clinthera.2014.09.019
PMCID: PMC4282778  PMID: 25450473
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; formularies; prior authorization; copayments; step therapy; ADHD medications
9.  Health Plans' Disease Management Programs: Extending across the Medical and Behavioral Health Spectrum? 
While the disease management industry has expanded rapidly, there is little nationally representative data regarding medical and behavioral health disease management programs at the health plan level. National estimates from a survey of private health plans indicate that 90% of health plan products offered disease management for general medical conditions such as diabetes, but only 37% had depression programs. The frequency of specific depression disease management activities varied widely. Program adoption was significantly related to product type and behavioral health contracting. In health plans, disease management has penetrated more slowly into behavioral health, and depression program characteristics are highly variable.
doi:10.1097/01.JAC.0000336553.69707.e5
PMCID: PMC4405107  PMID: 18806594
disease management; depression; managed care; health plans
13.  Drinking Patterns of Older Adults with Chronic Medical Conditions 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2013;28(10):1326-1332.
ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND
Understanding alcohol consumption patterns of older adults with chronic illness is important given the aging baby boomer generation, the increase in prevalence of chronic conditions and associated medication use, and the potential consequences of excessive drinking in this population.
OBJECTIVES
To estimate the prevalence of alcohol consumption patterns, including at-risk drinking, in older adults with at least one of seven common chronic conditions.
DESIGN/METHODS
This descriptive study used the nationally representative 2005 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey linked with Medicare claims. The sample included community-dwelling, fee-for-service beneficiaries 65 years and older with one or more of seven chronic conditions (Alzheimer’s disease and other senile dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, diabetes, heart failure, hypertension, and stroke; n = 7,422). Based on self-reported alcohol consumption, individuals were categorized as nondrinkers, within-guidelines drinkers, or at-risk drinkers (exceeds guidelines).
RESULTS
Overall, 30.9 % (CI 28.0–34.1 %) of older adults with at least one of seven chronic conditions reported alcohol consumption in a typical month in the past year, and 6.9 % (CI 6.0–7.8 %) reported at-risk drinking. Older adults with higher chronic disease burdens were less likely to report alcohol consumption and at-risk drinking.
CONCLUSIONS
Nearly one-third of older adults with selected chronic illnesses report drinking alcohol and almost 7 % drink in excess of National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) guidelines. It is important for physicians and patients to discuss alcohol consumption as a component of chronic illness management. In cases of at-risk drinking, providers have an opportunity to provide brief intervention or to offer referrals if needed.
doi:10.1007/s11606-013-2409-1
PMCID: PMC3785666  PMID: 23609178
at-risk drinking; alcohol consumption; Medicare beneficiaries; chronic conditions; older adults
14.  Workplace Stress, Organizational Factors and EAP Utilization 
This study examined relationships between workplace stress, organizational factors and use of EAP counseling services delivered by network providers in a large, privately-insured population. Claims data were linked to measures of workplace stress, focus on wellness/prevention, EAP promotion, and EAP activities for health care plan enrollees from 26 employers. The association of external environment and work organization variables with use of EAP counseling services was examined. Higher levels of EAP promotion and worksite activities were associated with greater likelihood of service use. Greater focus on wellness/prevention and unusual and significant stress were associated with lower likelihood of service use. Results provide stakeholders with insights on approaches to increasing utilization of EAP services.
doi:10.1080/15555240903188380
PMCID: PMC3778910  PMID: 24058322
Employee Assistance Programs; utilization; workplace stress; organizational factors
15.  Declines in psychiatric care in inpatient settings in Israel mirror global trend 
Levinson and Lerner provide compelling evidence that reforms to the mental health system in Israel led to significant declines in institutional-based care. These declines are similar to those found in other high income countries over the same time period. Additional evidence on concurrent changes to the amount and quality of care in community settings is an important area for future research.
doi:10.1186/2045-4015-2-30
PMCID: PMC3751511  PMID: 23947563
16.  Customization in Prescribing for Bipolar Disorder 
Health Economics  2011;21(6):653-668.
For many disorders, patient heterogeneity requires physicians to customize their treatment to each patient’s needs. We test for the existence of customization in physicians’ prescribing for bipolar disorder, using data from a naturalistic clinical effectiveness trial of bipolar disorder treatment (STEP-BD), which did not constrain physician prescribing. Multinomial logit is used to model the physician’s choice among five combinations of drug classes. We find that our observed measure of the patient’s clinical status played only a limited role in the choice among drug class combinations, even for conditions such as mania that are expected to affect class choice. However, treatment of a patient with given characteristics differed widely depending on which physician was seen. The explanatory power of the model was low. There was variation within each physician’s prescribing, but the results do not suggest a high degree of customization in physicians’ prescribing, based on our measure of clinical status.
doi:10.1002/hec.1737
PMCID: PMC3164906  PMID: 21506194
Bipolar disorder; pharmaceuticals; prescribing decisions; personalization
17.  Preparing for a Public Sector Mental Health Reform in New Mexico: The Experience of Agencies Serving Adults with Serious Mental Illness 
Community Mental Health Journal  2011;48(3):264-269.
In 2005, New Mexico began a comprehensive reform of state-funded mental health care. This paper reports on differences in characteristics, infrastructure, financial status, and available services across mental health agencies. We administered a telephone survey to senior leadership to assess agency status prior to and during the first year of reform. Non-profit/public agencies were more likely than others to report reductions or no changes in administrative staff. CMHCs were more likely to report a decline in their financial situation. Findings demonstrated that CMHCs, non-profit/public agencies and rural agencies were more likely to offer critical services to adults with serious mental illness in the first year of reform. The comprehensiveness of services offered by these types of agencies may be an advantage as the state moves to a core service agency approach.
doi:10.1007/s10597-011-9418-5
PMCID: PMC3213275  PMID: 21688132
Rural; mental health; staffing patterns; Medicaid reform
18.  Is Customization in Antidepressant Prescribing Associated with Acute-Phase Treatment Adherence? 
Objectives
The objective was to explore whether prescribing variation is associated with duration of antidepressant use during the acute phase of treatment. Improving quality of care and increasing the extent to which treatment is patient-centered and customized are interrelated goals. Prescribing variation may be considered a marker of customization, and could be associated with better antidepressant treatment adherence.
Methods
A cross-sectional secondary data analysis examining the association between providers' antidepressant prescribing variation and patient continuity of antidepressant treatment. The data source was two states' Medicaid claims for dual-eligible Medicaid/Medicare patients. The sample included 383 patients with new episodes of antidepressant treatment, representing 70 providers with at least four patients in the sample. We tested two alternate measures of prescribing concentration: 1) share of prescriber's initial antidepressant prescribing accounted for by the two most common regimens, and 2) Herfindahl index. The HEDIS performance measure of effective acute-phase treatment (at least 84 out of 114 days with antidepressant) was the dependent variable.
Key Findings
In multivariate analyses, the concentration measure based on the top two regimens was significant and inversely related to duration adequacy (p <.05). The Herfindahl index measure showed a trend towards a similar inverse relationship (p<.10).
Conclusions
The findings provide some support for the hypothesized relationship between prescribing variation and adequate antidepressant treatment duration during the acute phase of treatment. Future work with more detailed, clinical longitudinal data could extend this inquiry to better understand the causal mechanisms using a more direct measure of customized care.
doi:10.1111/j.1759-8893.2011.00068.x
PMCID: PMC3374329  PMID: 22707982
antidepressants; prescribing patterns; quality of care; depression treatment; customization
19.  The Relationship of Antidepressant Prescribing Concentration to Treatment Duration and Cost 
Background
Widely accepted treatment guidelines and performance measures encourage patients to stay on antidepressant medication beyond the acute phase of treatment in order to achieve full remission and reduce risk of relapse. However, many patients discontinue antidepressant medication treatment prematurely for various reasons, including side-effects or nonresponse to the initial medication prescribed. Customization of medications to differing patient profiles could potentially improve medication treatment duration, but for many diseases physicians tend to concentrate on a limited subset of available medications. Little is known about the effects of concentration in prescribing on medication treatment duration and expenditures.
Aims of the study
To determine the extent to which prescribing for treatment of depression is concentrated, using data from a privately insured population. To evaluate the relationship between prescribing concentration and subsequent duration of medication treatment, expenditure on medications, and the number of distinct medications used.
Study population
Individuals receiving antidepressant treatment paid for by a large private managed behavioral health organization, in the US.
Methods
The study uses psychotropic pharmacy claims data for 2003–06 for plan members who received a depression diagnosis and had an antidepressant claim. The resulting sample includes 9,017 patients seen by 543 prescribers.
For each prescriber, we compute prescribing concentration, using the Herfindahl index and the share for the three most-used medications. Treatment expenditure is computed as the sum of payments by plan and by patients. Regression analysis is used to identify the association of prescribing concentration with medication treatment duration, expenditures and other utilization measures.
Results
For these physicians, the mean share of the physician’s total antidepressant prescribing accounted for by their three most-used regimens was 72%. The mean value of the Herfindahl index was 0.27. Over the 180-day follow-up period, the average patient had 103 days covered by antidepressant prescriptions, resulting in mean expenditures of $286, or $2.25 per day of medication supplied. Regression analysis indicates that higher concentration in a physician’s prescribing was associated with fewer days of antidepressant coverage, lower medication expenditures, and subsequent use of fewer distinct medications.
Discussion
Higher concentration in prescribing is associated with shorter observed duration of medication treatment and lower expenditures on medications. The lower expenditures appear to be due to earlier discontinuation and fewer different medications, not to a lower cost per day supplied. Limitations of this study include lack of data on medical visits or on reasons for medication discontinuation, as the study is based on pharmacy claims data, not medical claims or surveys. In addition, it is not known whether the patient’s antidepressant use represents a new episode. Finally, lack of randomization implies that the associations identified may not be causal.
Implications for Health Care Provision and Use
Concentration of physicians on certain medications may run counter to the increasing calls for customization of medication selection.
Implications for Health Policy
Insurer policies which limit physicians’ choice of medications may be lowering expenditures in part by reducing patients’ medication treatment duration.
Implications for Further Research
Additional studies are needed to understand what mechanisms may link concentration in prescribing to medication treatment duration and expenditures.
PMCID: PMC3398609  PMID: 22611088
21.  Unintended consequences of cigarette price changes for alcohol drinking behaviors across age groups: evidence from pooled cross sections 
Background
Raising prices through taxation on tobacco and alcohol products is a common strategy to raise revenues and reduce consumption. However, taxation policies are product specific, focusing either on alcohol or tobacco products. Several studies document interactions between the price of cigarettes and general alcohol use and it is important to know whether increased cigarette prices are associated with varying alcohol drinking patterns among different population groups. To inform policymaking, this study investigates the association of state cigarette prices with smoking, and current, binge, and heavy drinking by age group.
Methods
The 2001-2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys (n = 1,323,758) were pooled and analyzed using multiple regression equations to estimate changes in smoking and drinking pattern response to an increase in cigarette price, among adults aged 18 and older. For each outcome, a multiple linear probability model was estimated which incorporated terms interacting state cigarette price with age group. State and year fixed effects were included to control for potential unobserved state-level characteristics that might influence smoking and drinking.
Results
Increases in state cigarette prices were associated with increases in current drinking among persons aged 65 and older, and binge and heavy drinking among persons aged 21-29. Reductions in smoking were found among persons aged 30-64, drinking among those aged 18-20, and binge drinking among those aged 65 and older.
Conclusions
Increases in state cigarette prices may increase or decrease smoking and harmful drinking behaviors differentially by age. Adults aged 21-29 and 65 and older are more prone to increased drinking as a result of increased cigarette prices. Researchers, practitioners, advocates, and policymakers should work together to understand and prepare for these unintended consequences of tobacco taxation policy.
doi:10.1186/1747-597X-7-28
PMCID: PMC3441210  PMID: 22784412
Cigarette price; Tobacco policy; Smoking; Drinking behaviors; Age; Young adults; Older adults
22.  EMPLOYER CHOICES IN EAP DESIGN AND WORKSITE SERVICES 
SUMMARY
In today’s complex private healthcare market, employers have varied preferences for particular features of behavioral health products such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Factors which may influence these preferences include: establishment size, type of organization, industry, workplace substance abuse regulations, and structure of health insurance benefits. This study of 103 large employer purchasers from a single managed behavioral healthcare organization investigated the impact of such variables on the EAP features that employers select to provide to workers and their families. Our findings indicate that for this group of employers, preferences for the type and delivery mode of EAP counseling services are fairly universal, while number of sessions provided and choices for EAP-provided worksite activities are much more varied, and may be more reflective of the diverse characteristics, organizational missions and workplace culture found among larger employers in the US.
doi:10.1080/15555241003760979
PMCID: PMC3388531  PMID: 22768017
Employee Assistance Programs; benefits design; workplace substance abuse
23.  Integrated EAP/Managed Behavioral Health Plan Utilization by Persons with Substance Use Disorders 
New federal parity and health reform legislation, promising increased behavioral health care access and a focus on prevention, has heightened interest in employee assistance programs (EAPs). This study investigated service utilization by persons with a primary substance use disorder (SUD) diagnosis in a managed behavioral healthcare organization's integrated EAP/managed behavioral health care product (N=1,158). In 2004, 25.0% of clients used the EAP first for new treatment episodes. After initial EAP utilization, 44.4% received no additional formal services through the plan and 40.4% received regular outpatient services. Overall, outpatient care, intensive outpatient/day treatment, and inpatient/residential detoxification were most common. About half of clients had co-occurring psychiatric diagnoses. Mental health service utilization was extensive. Findings suggest that for service users with primary SUD diagnoses in an integrated EAP/MBHC product, the EAP benefit plays a key role at the front end of treatment and is often only one component of treatment episodes.
doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2010.11.009
PMCID: PMC3056945  PMID: 21185684
24.  Older Adults’ Inpatient and Emergency Department Utilization For Ambulatory-Care-Sensitive Conditions: Relationship with Alcohol Consumption 
Journal of aging and health  2010;23(1):86-111.
Objectives
This study examined the relationship between drinking that exceeds guideline-recommended limits and acute-care utilization for ambulatory-care-sensitive conditions (ACSCs) by older Medicare beneficiaries.
Methods
This secondary data analysis utilized the 2001–2006 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (unweighted n=5,570 community dwelling, past-year drinkers, 65 years and older). Self-reported alcohol consumption (categorized as within-guidelines, exceeding monthly but not daily limits, or heavy episodic) and covariates were used to predict ACSC hospitalization, emergency department visit not resulting in admission, and emergency department visit that did result in admission.
Results
Heavy episodic drinking was significantly associated with higher likelihood of an ACSC emergency department visit not resulting in admission (adjusted odds ratio 1.91, 95% CI 1.11 – 3.30; p<.05). Drinking pattern was not significant for other ACSC measures.
Discussion
Results partially support the hypothesis that excessive drinking may be related to ACSC acute-care utilization among older adults, suggesting increased risk of lower-quality outpatient care.
doi:10.1177/0898264310383156
PMCID: PMC3021178  PMID: 20935248
older adults; alcohol; ambulatory-care-sensitive conditions; health care utilization; quality of care
25.  Substance abuse treatment client experience in an employed population: results of a client survey 
Background
Understanding client perspectives on treatment is increasingly recognized as key to improving care. Yet information on the perceptions and experiences of workers with private insurance coverage who receive help for substance use conditions is relatively sparse, particularly in managed behavioral health care organization (MBHO) populations. Furthermore, the role of several factors including prior service use has not been fully explored.
Methods
Employees covered by a large MBHO who had received substance abuse services in the past year were surveyed (146 respondents completed the telephone survey and self-reported service use).
Results
The most common reasons for entering treatment were problems with health; home, family or friends; or work. Prior treatment users reported more reasons for entering treatment and more substance use-related work impairment. The majority of all respondents felt treatment helped a lot or some. One quarter reported getting less treatment than they felt they needed.
Discussion and conclusions
Study findings point to the need to tailor treatment for prior service users and to recognize the role of work in treatment entry and outcomes. Perceived access issues may be present even among insured clients already in treatment.
doi:10.1186/1747-597X-7-4
PMCID: PMC3269994  PMID: 22251622

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