Incentives to Encourage Primary Care Use: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Safety Net

Principal Investigator: Maria Thomson, Ph.D.

Funding Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Grant No. R01HS022534

The study supports a randomized controlled trial of incentives for an initial primary care visit within six months of enrollment in a healthcare coverage program. The lack of healthcare coverage leads to poor health and inappropriate healthcare use among the uninsured. Medicaid expansions to the uninsured adult population are a means of improving access to primary care. However, the evidence from these expansions on reducing hospitalizations and emergency department use is mixed, suggesting that barriers to primary care remain, in spite of coverage.  Interventions, such as incentives (also known as conditional cash transfers), may be a means to steer patients toward a model of care that emphasizes prevention, primary care for nonemergent needs and primary care chronic disease management. Cash incentives may generate a desired behavioral response for a relatively small price.


Communication and Communication Outcomes for Cancer Survivors

Principal Investigator: Maria Thomson, Ph.D.

Funding Source: National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute 

This study will examine whether families and patients with blood cancers communicate well with each other about treatment and care decisions. These cancers can disrupt patient and caregivers’ lives and can cause patients and caregivers stress and make it difficult from them to continue to work or meet their family obligations. This study will examine whether and how their communication is associated with these outcomes and how we can intervene in the future to improve their quality of life and is important because a growing number of people are affected by these diseases, many of whom are working age adults.