Current Projects

Improving health and economic outcomes for formerly incarcerated adults

IRP investigators and their collaborators in the clinical sciences and across several state agencies are conducting research to assess the role that Medicaid coverage may play in improving health and economic outcomes of adults as they reenter the community from state prison. Supporting this work is a nationally unique data set, constructed in part from the IRP’s Administrative Data Core, that links data from multiple Wisconsin state agencies including the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, the Division of Medicaid Services, the Department of Public Health Surveillance Data, and the Unemployment Insurance Program. This work is funded through the Wisconsin Partnership Program, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the UW’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education.

Burns ME, Cook S, Brown L, Tyska S, Westergaard RP. 2021.  Increasing Medicaid Enrollment among Formerly Incarcerated Adults. Health Services Research. Online ahead-of-print. 2021;00:1–12. DOI:10.1111/1475-6773.13634.

Medicaid Evaluation and Research

Advanced research and analytical services to advance the purposes of the Medicaid program: effective operation, quality and efficiency of services, reduced costs, and improved outcomes for Medicaid enrollees. The UW and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, under an inter-agency agreement specifying Medicaid Research, Evaluation, and Technical Assistance, jointly explore a range of topics, including dental care access, program enrollment churning, emergency department utilization, and post-natal continuity of coverage.

Medicaid/BadgerCare Reforms: CMS Section 1115 Waiver Evaluation

Evaluating Wisconsin’s BadgerCare Plus health insurance program and reforms, in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. BadgerCare Plus is Wisconsin’s Medicaid and SCHIP programs, providing health insurance for most Wisconsin children and many low and middle income families.

Bibliography of reports and papers

Prescription Drug Coverage

Conducting an evaluation of the SeniorCare prescription program for low-income elderly, under contract with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

View final evaluation report, submitted to DHS April 2019.

Look K, Kim NH, Dague L, Winn A. 2020. Trends in a State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program for Low-Income Older Adults in Wisconsin. Innovations in Pharmacy 11(4). DOI:10.24926/iip.v11i4.3410.

Kim NH, Look KA. 2019. The Effect of Reduced Drug Copayments on Adherence to Oral Diabetes Medications among Childless Adults in Wisconsin Medicaid. Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy. 2019 Dec;25(12):1432–1441. DOI: 10.18553/jmcp.2019.25.12.1432.

Kim NH, Look KA, Burns ME. Low-Income Childless Adults’ Access to Antidiabetic Drugs in Wisconsin Medicaid after Coverage Expansion. 2019. Health Aff (Millwood) 38(7):1145–1152. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2018.05198.

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders (MHSUD)

Our team is a founding member of the Medicaid Outcomes Distributed Research Network (MODRN) under the leadership of AcademyHealth.

MODRN is a collaborative effort to analyze data across multiple states to facilitate learning among Medicaid agencies, currently focusing on the treatment quality and outcomes of opioid use disorder (OUD).

Our Wisconsin team works with MODRN partners, both universities and Medicaid agencies, in Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.  Our objectives are to provide a comprehensive assessment of OUD treatment quality and outcomes in Medicaid, and to inform policy decisions on coverage and payment for evidence-based OUD treatments in Medicaid.

Burns ME, Dague L, Saloner B, Voskuil K, Kim NH, Borrero NS. Look K. 2020. Implementing parity for mental health and substance use treatment in Medicaid. Health Services Research. 55(4):604-614. DOI:10.1111/1475-6773.13309.


ACA-Subsidized Coverage for Near Poor Adults

Awarded funding by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, under its Research in Transforming Health & Health Care Systems program, our team is conducting a study to assess changes to Medicaid and ACA eligibility, and the effects of fully subsidized public coverage relative to partially subsidized private coverage for near-poor adults.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation previously awarded  grants to our team under two rounds of its State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE) initiative. This funding has supported study of BadgerCare Plus enrollment, efficiency, and churning of covered members, and currently supports assessment of Core Plan utilization by childless adults and the predictive value of the health needs assessment.

Our team also previously conducted evaluation under Wisconsin’s State Health Access Program (SHAP) award from HRSA. DHS in 2013 procured from the Institute an evaluation of the changes that took effect under DHS Medicaid Efficiencies initiative. Our team previously evaluated changes to Badgercare under Wisconsin’s federal waivers adopted in 2008 and in 2012.