Active Projects

CHPRE’s Current Research Grants and Support

Considerations for the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Debate $37,475 July 1, 2018 – December 1, 2018.  In this project funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Dr. Nichols will write a policy paper on Medicare negotiation of prescription drug prices. The paper will focus on the largest challenge in this area, Part B drugs, i.e., those that are administered by physicians or their assistants in clinics or hospital outpatient facilities, as opposed to those purchased over the counter and typically covered by Part D drug plans or Medicare Advantage plans.

Health Care Benefits Builder Case Study, $40,000 November 1, 2017 – October 31, 2018.  The comprehensiveness of employer provided health insurance obscures the actual cost of the care employees receive.  Health insurance has taught people not to care about price, and it has made people unaccepting of limits on what services are covered.  There are few opportunities for people to learn about and discuss the tradeoffs — what they are willing to give up to preserve generous coverage for something else since resources are limited.  In this project funded from Inside Workplace Wellness, Dr. Nichols will use a deliberative group process to redesign an employer health plan.  Employees will learn about the issues, consider alternatives, express their preferences, hear the views of others, debate the tradeoffs and ultimately, choose what should be included in a health plan.

Literature Review and Evaluation of Enhanced Smoking Cessation Metrics, $32,500, April 1, 2018 – September 1, 2018.  In this six-month project funded by Pfizer, GMU will conduct research into potential smoking cessation measurement options for use by the Commonwealth of Virginia and national application, with the goal that a selected measure can be included as part of VCHI’s emerging Virginia Health Value Dashboard for ongoing learning and best practice sharing to support smoking cessation efforts.  GMU’s measurement approach will be to identify and report on the delivery of both low value and high value clinical services across Virginia and its regions.  We aim to engage key stakeholders in systematically reducing low value services, increasing high value services and improving the infrastruction for value-based care. GRA Chanup Jeung supports this project.

Restoring Primary Care in Virginia:  PCOR Learning as a Pathway to Value $2.2M, May 1, 2015 – May 30, 2019.  Len Nichols will lead a team of four additional Mason faculty, three graduate research assistants and a survey plus qualitative research subcontractor to address primary care transformation in its Virginia Health Innovation Plan.  The evaluation will assess the degree to which and if so, why, the VPCTC succeeded in improving the performance of small independent physician practices on heart heath related specific metrics.

Evaluation of CareFirst’s Patient Centered Medical Home Program, $5.4m, Jan 2013- Dec 2017.  This project entails econometric analysis of claims and enrollment files, surveys of physicians and patients, and in-depth interviews with participating providers plus key CareFirst staff.  Principal Investigator  is Len M. Nichols.  Collaborators include 6 GMU Faculty: Gilbert Gimm, Lorens Helmchen, Alison Cueller, Kalahn Taylor-Clark, Margie Rodan and Iwona Kicinger; 2 Graduate Research Assistants, Sriteja Burla and Brad Kells; Alan Newman Research of Richmond, Virginia, and Dr. Jay Want, MD, of Denver, Colorado.

Technical Assistance to the Department of Medical Assistance, $245,000, June 2014 – May 2015.  This project is to use DMAS data and general analytic methods to support Virginia institutions as they apply for federal payment and delivery reform grants.  Principal Investigator is Len M. Nichols.  Also includes GRA Kyung Min Lee and Chanup Jeung.

Using Payment Reform to Reduce Ethnic Health Disparities Among an Uninsured Population, $488,000, Oct 2014-Oct 2017.  This project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in collaboration with Fairfax County and Molina Health Care, who operates the Community Health Care Network clinics for the county, will test whether provider payment reform can engender more equal performance on the management of targeted clinical conditions.  Principal Investigator is Len M. Nichols.  In collaboration with GMU faculty Kalahn Taylor-Clark, and GRA Steven Petzinger, Kyung Min Lee, and Chanup Jeung.

Support of Virginia’s State Innovation Model Grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, $167,000, Feb 2015-January 2016.  This project is to produce a Health Improvement Plan for the Commonwealth that CMS/CMMI will fund the implementation of in the following 4, and GMU’s part is to play a leading role in the payment reform and evaluation designs.  The Principal Investigator is Beth Bortz of the Virginia Center for Health Innovation in Richmond, and Len M. Nichols is the PI of the GMU portion of this $2.7m grant.  GRAs Kyung-Min Lee and Maryam Mohammad will support this effort.

America’s Health Insurance Plans, $45,000 to support general CHPRE activities and Issue Briefs.   CHPRE produces issue briefs on timely topics from time to time and AHIP’s grant will make this easier by supporting policy research assistance in 2014-15.

Since 2010 and until the current time, CHPRE has been supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Department of Medical Assistance Services of the Commonwealth of Virginia.