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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.  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
7.  Accessing Specialty Behavioral Health Treatment in Private Health Plans 
Connecting people to mental health and substance abuse services is critical, given the extent of unmet need. The way health plans structure access to care can play a role. This study examined treatment entry procedures for specialty behavioral health care in private health plans, and their relationship with behavioral health contracting arrangements, focusing primarily on initial entry into outpatient treatment. The data source was a nationally representative health plan survey on behavioral health services in 2003 (N= 368 plans with 767 managed care products; 83% response rate). Most health plan products initially authorized six or more outpatient visits if authorization was required, did not routinely conduct telephonic clinical assessment, had standards for timely access, and monitored wait time. Products with carve-outs differed on several treatment entry dimensions. Findings suggest that health plans focus on timely access and typically do not heavily manage initial entry into outpatient treatment.
doi:10.1007/s11414-008-9161-z
PMCID: PMC4364135  PMID: 19104944
mental health; substance abuse; managed care; access; health plans
9.  Performance-Based Contracting Within a State Substance Abuse Treatment System: A Preliminary Exploration of Differences in Client Access and Client Outcomes 
The journal of behavioral health services & research  2011;38(3):10.1007/s11414-010-9228-5.
To explore whether the implementation of performance-based contracting (PBC) within the State of Maine’s substance abuse treatment system resulted in improved performance, one descriptive and two empirical analyses were conducted. The first analysis examined utilization and payment structure. The second study was designed to examine whether timeliness of access to outpatient (OP) and intensive outpatient (IOP) substance abuse assessments and treatment, measures that only became available after the implementation of PBC, differed between PBC and non-PBC agencies in the year following implementation of PBC. Using treatment admission records from the state treatment data system (N=9,128), logistic regression models run using generalized equation estimation techniques found no significant difference between PBC agencies and other agencies on timeliness of access to assessments or treatment, for both OP and IOP services. The third analysis, conducted using discharge data from the years prior to and after the implementation of performance-based contracting (N=6,740) for those agencies that became a part of the performance-based contracting system, was designed to assess differences in level of participation, retention, and completion of treatment. Regression models suggest that performance on OP client engagement and retention measures was significantly poorer the year after the implementation of PBC, but that temporal rather than a PBC effects were more significant. No differences were found between years for IOP level of participation or completion of treatment measures.
doi:10.1007/s11414-010-9228-5
PMCID: PMC3879683  PMID: 21249461
10.  Performance Contracting and Quality Improvement in Outpatient Treatment: Effects on Waiting Time and Length of Stay 
We evaluate effects of a performance contract (PC) implemented in Delaware in 2001 and participation in quality improvement (QI) programs on waiting time for treatment and length of stay (LOS) using client treatment episode level data from Delaware (n = 12,368) and Maryland (n = 147,151) for 1998 – 2006. Results of difference-in-difference analyses indicate waiting time declined 13 days following the PC, after controlling for client characteristics and historical trends. Participation in the PC and a formal QI program was associated with a decrease of 20 days. LOS increased 22 days under the PC and 24 days under the PC and QI programs, after controlling for client characteristics. The PC and QI program were associated with improvements in LOS and waiting time, although we cannot determine which aspects of the programs (incentives, training, monitoring) resulted in these changes.
doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2012.02.001
PMCID: PMC3584559  PMID: 22445031
Performance contract; pay-for-performance; financial incentives; quality improvement; substance abuse treatment
12.  Health Services and Financing of Treatment 
Alcohol Research & Health  2011;33(4):389-394.
Financing, payment, and organization and management of alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment services are closely intertwined and together determine whether people have access to treatment, how the treatment system is designed, and the quality and cost of treatment services. Since the 1960s, changes in these arrangements have driven changes in the delivery of AOD treatment, and recent developments, including the passage of Federal parity legislation and health reform, as well as increasing use of performance contracting, promise to bring additional changes. This article outlines the current state of the AOD treatment system and highlights implications of these impending changes for access to and quality of AOD treatment services.
PMCID: PMC3860539  PMID: 23580023
Alcohol and other drug (AOD) use treatment; treatment costs; health care delivery and administration; health care financing; cost-effectiveness of AOD health services; cost-benefit analysis; health insurance; Medicare; Medicaid; legislation; public policy
13.  Measuring Hospital Quality: Can Medicare Data Substitute for All-Payer Data? 
Health Services Research  2003;38(6 Pt 1):1487-1508.
Objectives
To assess whether adverse outcomes in Medicare patients can be used as a surrogate for measures from all patients in quality-of-care research using administrative datasets.
Data Sources
Patient discharge abstracts from state data systems for 799 hospitals in 11 states. National MedPAR discharge data for Medicare patients from 3,357 hospitals. State hospital staffing surveys or financial reports. American Hospital Association Annual Survey.
Study Design
We calculate rates for 10 adverse patient outcomes, examine the correlation between all-patient and Medicare rates, and conduct negative binomial regressions of counts of adverse outcomes on expected counts, hospital nurse staffing, and other variables to compare results using all-patient and Medicare patient data.
Data Collection/Extraction
Coding rules were established for eight adverse outcomes applicable to medical and surgical patients plus two outcomes applicable only to surgical patients. The presence of these outcomes was coded for 3 samples: all patients in the 11-state sample, Medicare patients in the 11-state sample, and Medicare patients in the national Medicare MedPAR sample. Logistic regression models were used to construct estimates of expected counts of the outcomes for each hospital. Variables for teaching, metropolitan status, and bed size were obtained from the AHA Annual Survey.
Principal Findings
For medical patients, Medicare rates were consistently higher than all-patient rates, but the two were highly correlated. Results from regression analysis were consistent across the 11-state all-patient, 11-state Medicare, and national Medicare samples. For surgery patients, Medicare rates were generally higher than all-patient rates, but correlations of Medicare and all-patient rates were lower, and regression results less consistent.
Conclusions
Analyses of quality of care for medical patients using Medicare-only and all-patient data are likely to have similar findings. Measures applied to surgery patients must be used with more caution, as those tested only in Medicare patients may not provide results comparable to those from all-patient samples or across different samples of Medicare patients.
doi:10.1111/j.1475-6773.2003.00189.x
PMCID: PMC1360960  PMID: 14727784
Quality of care; reproducibility of results; Medicare; nursing care

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