Addiction Recovery Treatment Services Delivery System (ARTS)

Principal Investigator: Peter J. Cunningham, Ph.D.

Funding source: Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS)


This study has 2 task arms. Task 1 will conduct an evaluation of changes in service utilization and costs for substance use disorders (SUD) in the year following implementation of the new ARTS benefit. Task 2 is the evaluation of the addiction disease management trainings, including surveys and qualitative interviews, and will provide clinical expertise on all aspects of the project.

Understanding the Impact of Medicaid Delivery System Reform.

Principal Investigator: Peter J. Cunningham, Ph.D.

Funding Source: Kaiser contract

Project Summary:

The Kaiser Foundation is commissioning VCU to work in collaboration with Commission staff to conduct an analysis of delivery system financing reform for low-income populations. The project will examine how trends in preventable hospital utilization are associated with payment and delivery reforms through DSRIP (Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment) funding as well as coverage expansions. Then analysis will draw on the experience in California and can inform ongoing waiver renewal negotiations in Texas and Florida.

The analysis will draw on data on hospital admissions and emergency department (ED) visits for all Calirfornia hosptials to examine changes in the rates of preventable inpatient admissions, rates of ED visits, and changes in racial/ethnic and insurance coverage disparities in preventable hospital utilization between 2010 and 2015. In addition, it will analyze differences by county by linking hospital data to county level data on changes in the uninsured rate from the American Community Survey and information on whether there is a public hospital that received the DSRIP funding in the county.

What are the Health Needs of the Low Income Population, and How Have They Changed Since the Affordable Care Act?

Principal Investigator: Peter J. Cunningham, Ph.D.

Funding Source: Commonwealth Fund


The purpose of the proposed project is to examine the health needs of the low income population, and whether the Affordable Care Act has differentially affected key vulnerable subgroups within the low income population, such as racial/ethnic minorities, recent immigrants, the uninsured and underinsured, and individuals with physical and mental health problems.   Specifically, the project will examine: (1) the demographic characteristics, health status, and health care resources of people with family incomes at 250% of poverty or lower, and how these characteristics have changed since the ACA; (2) Changes in medical cost burdens for the low income population since the implementation of the ACA, and; (3) Changes in access to care for the low income population since the ACA.  We propose using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to examine these trends, as it is the most comprehensive national survey available on Americans’ health, health care access, utilization, and expenditures, and therefore is the only source of data that allows for an integrated analysis of all three objectives.   Also, the project uses the MEPS to build on previous research funded by The Commonwealth Fund on medical cost burdens, as it is the only source of data that can show out-of-pocket expenditures by type of service, as well as the percent of total health care expenditures paid out-of-pocket.  MEPS public use files for 2014 will become available in September, 2016, and therefore this project will yield some of the earliest results showing comprehensively how the health and health care needs of the low income population have changed since the ACA.  We estimate the proposed costs of the project to be $192,437 over a 12 month period, beginning August 1, 2016.