Thomas D'Aunno, Ph.D, is Professor of Management at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. D’Aunno’s research and teaching focus on the organization and management of healthcare services; he has a particular interest in the diffusion and adoption of evidence-based practices and leadership and organizational change. He has examined these issues in a variety of national studies funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research. He is currently conducting studies of Accountable Care Organizations and of the organization and performance of the nation’s substance use disorder treatment system, with a focus on the quality of care for opioid addiction.
He is published in leading management and health journals, including Administrative Science Quarterly, the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Annals of the Academy of Management, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Health Affairs, Milbank Quarterly, and the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. He served as Editor-in-Chief of Medical Care Research and Review, 2014-2018. He also is a past chair of the Academy of Management Division of Health Care Management and a recipient of its Fottler Award for career distinguished service and the Provan Award for distinguished career contributions to research in healthcare management.
D’Aunno served as the director of NYU Wagner’s Health Policy and Management (2016-2020) and was the founding director of its online Master of Health Administration (MHA) Program. D’Aunno was previously a faculty member at Columbia University, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, and INSEAD, where he held the Novartis Chair in Healthcare Management.
D’Aunno graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and received his Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Co-occurring mental health disorders are common among substance use disorder (SUD) patients. Medicaid expansion aimed to reduce barriers to SUD and mental health care and thereby improve treatment outcomes.
We estimated change in the proportion of United States SUD treatment sites offering treatment for psychiatric comorbidities following Medicaid expansion as part of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014. Using panel data from the 2013–2014, n = 660, and 2016–2017, n = 638, waves of the National Drug Abuse Treatment System Survey (NDATSS), we estimated change in the proportion of sites offering antidepressant medication, other psychiatric medication, behavioral treatment, or any combination thereof for treatment of mental health comorbidities (i.e., beyond services focused on SUD). We modeled the impact of Medicaid expansion as an interaction between year and date of Medicaid expansion. We constructed a mixed-effects linear regression model for each outcome, with the interaction variable as the main exposure, site as a random effect, and site's average duration of treatment, proportion of clients with psychiatric comorbidities, average caseload per treatment prescribing-clinician on staff, type of facility and geographic region as covariates, to estimate a difference-in-differences (D-I-D) equation.
The adjusted D-I-D analysis indicated that the proportion of SUD treatment sites offering antidepressants for psychiatric treatment increased 10% (95% CI 1%, 18%) in the Medicaid expansion sites compared to non-expansion sites. The D-I-D for other psychiatric medications was also 10% (95% 1%, 19%). No significant changes were observed in behavioral treatment or the combination measure. The strongest association between Medicaid expansion and offering medication for mental health comorbidities was the 34% increase observed for residential treatment settings (95% CI 10%, 59%).
Availability of psychiatric medication treatment in SUD treatment settings increased following Medicaid expansion, particularly in residential SUD facilities. This policy change has facilitated integrated treatment for the substantial share of SUD treatment patients with mental health comorbidities, with the greatest benefit for patients receiving SUD treatment in residential programs.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) prompted sweeping changes to Medicaid, including expanding insurance coverage to an estimated 12 million previously uninsured Americans, and imposing new parity requirements on benefits for behavioral health services, including substance use disorder treatment. Yet, limited evidence suggests that these changes have reduced the number of uninsured in substance use disorder treatment, or increased access to substance use disorder treatment overall. This study links data from a nationally-representative study of outpatient substance use disorder treatment programs and a unique national survey of state Medicaid programs to capture changes in insurance coverage among substance use disorder treatment patients after ACA implementation. Medicaid expansion was associated with a 15.7-point increase in the percentage of patients insured by Medicaid in substance use disorder treatment programs and a 13.7-point decrease in the percentage uninsured. Restrictions in state Medicaid benefits and utilization policies were associated with a decreased percentage of Medicaid patients in treatment. Moreover, Medicaid expansion was not associated with a change in the total number of clients served over the study period. Our findings highlight the important role Medicaid has played in increasing insurance coverage for substance use disorder treatment.
The nation's methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) programs play a central role in addressing the current opioid epidemic. Considerable evidence documents the treatment effectiveness of MMT and, in turn, the importance of adequate dosing to MMT's effectiveness. Yet, as recently as 2011, 41% of patients received doses below the level of 80 mg/day. Using survey data from a nationally representative sample of MMT programs in 2011 and 2017, we examine (1) the extent to which the nation's MMT programs are meeting evidence-based standards for methadone dose level and (2) characteristics of MMT programs that are associated with variation in performance. Our results show that 43% of MMT patients receive <80 mg/day in 2017, and 23% of methadone maintenance patients receive daily doses below 60 mg. Results from multivariate regression analysis of the 2017 survey data show that private for-profit and public organizations significantly under-dosed patients compared to private nonprofit providers. Under-dosing also was more common in programs that serve high proportions of African-American patients. These results are concerning because MMT remains the medication of choice for vulnerable patients with the most severe opioid use disorders, and for-profit providers treat a growing proportion of MMT patients.
Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are a prominent payment and delivery model. Though ACOs are often described as groups of health care providers, nearly 4 in 10 ACOs partner with a management company for services such as financial investment, contracting, data analytics, and care management, according to recent research. However, we know little about how and why these partnerships form. This article aims to understand the reasons providers seek partners, the nature of these relationships, and factors critical to the success or failure of these alliances.
We used qualitative data collected longitudinally from 2012 to 2017 at 2 ACOs to understand relationships between management partners and ACO providers. The data include 115 semistructured interviews and observational data from 7 site visits. Two coders applied 48 codes to the data. We reviewed coded data for emergent themes in the context of alliance life cycle theory.
Qualitative data revealed that management partners brought specific skills and services and also gave providers confidence in pursuing an ACO. Over time, tension between providers and management partners arose around decision‐making authority, distribution of shared savings, and conflicting goals and values. We observed 2 outcomes of partnerships: cemented partnerships and dissolution. Key factors distinguishing alliance outcome in these 2 cases include degree of trust between organizations in the alliance; approach to conflict resolution; distribution of power in the alliance; skills and confidence acquired by the ACO over the life of the alliance; continuity of management partner delivery on promised resources; and proportion of savings going to the management partner.
The diverging paths for ACOs with management partners suggest 2 different roles that management partners may play in ACO development. In some cases, management partners may serve as trainers, with the partnership dissolving once the ACO gains skills and confidence to work alone. In other cases, the management partner is a central driver of the ACO and unlikely to break off.
To assess the relationship of restrictions on Medicaid benefits for addiction treatment to Medicaid acceptance among addiction treatment programs.
We collected primary data from the 2013–2014 wave of the National Drug Abuse Treatment System Survey.
We created two measures of benefits restrictiveness. In the first, we calculated the number of addiction treatment services covered by each state Medicaid program. In the second, we calculated the total number of utilization controls imposed on each service. Using a mixed-effects logistic regression model, we estimated the relationship between state Medicaid benefit restrictiveness for addiction treatment and adjusted odds of Medicaid acceptance among addiction treatment programs.
Study data come from a nationally-representative sample of 695 addiction treatment programs (85.5% response rate), representatives from Medicaid programs in forty-seven states and the District of Columbia (response rate 92%), and data collected by the American Society for Addiction Medicine.
Addiction treatment programs in states with more restrictive Medicaid benefits for addiction treatment had lower odds of accepting Medicaid enrollees (AOR = 0.65; CI = 0.43, 0.97). The predicted probability of Medicaid acceptance was 35.4% in highly restrictive states, 48.3% in moderately restrictive states, and 61.2% in the least restrictive states.
Addiction treatment programs are more likely to accept Medicaid in states with less restrictive benefits for addiction treatment. Program ownership and technological infrastructure also play an important role in increasing Medicaid acceptance.
OBJECTIVE: To identify factors that promote the effective performance of accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: Data come from a convenience sample of 16 Medicare Shared Savings ACOs that were organized around large physician groups. We use claims data from the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services and data from 60 interviews at three high-performing and three low-performing ACOs. STUDY DESIGN: Explanatory sequential design, using qualitative data to account for patterns observed in quantitative assessment of ACO performance. DATA COLLECTION METHODS: A total of 16 ACOs were first rank-ordered on measures of cost and quality of care; we then selected three high and three low performers for site visits; interview data were content-analyzed. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Results identify several factors that distinguish high- from low-performing ACOs: (1) collaboration with hospitals; (2) effective physician group practice prior to ACO engagement; (3) trusted, long-standing physician leaders focused on improving performance; (4) sophisticated use of information systems; (5) effective feedback to physicians; and (6) embedded care coordinators. CONCLUSIONS: Shorter interventions can improve ACO performance-use of embedded care coordinators and local, regional health information systems; timely feedback of performance data. However, longer term interventions are needed to promote physician-hospital collaboration and skills of physician leaders. CMS and other stakeholders need realistic timelines for ACO performance.
Objective: To describe changes in characteristics of directors of outpatient opioid agonist treatment (OAT) programs, and to examine the association between directors’ characteristics and low methadone dosage. Data Source: Repeated cross-sectional surveys of OAT programs in the United States from 1995 to 2011. Study Design: We used generalized linear regression models to examine associations between directors’ characteristics and methadone dose, adjusting for program and patient factors. Data Collection: Data were collected through telephone surveys of program directors. Principal Findings: The proportion of OAT programs with an African American director declined over time, from 29 percent in 1995 to 16 percent in 2011. The median percentage of patients in each program receiving <60 mg/day declined significantly, from 48.5 percent in 1995 to 29 percent in 2005 and 23 percent in 2011. Programs with an African American director were significantly more likely to provide low methadone doses than other programs. This association was even stronger in programs with an African American director who served populations with higher percentages of African American patients. Conclusions: Demographic characteristics of OAT program directors (e.g., their race) may play a key role in explaining variations in methadone dosage across programs and patients. Further research should investigate the causal pathways through which directors’ characteristics affect treatment practices. This may lead to new, multifaceted managerial interventions to improve patient outcomes.
Behavioral policy to improve health and health care often relies on interventions, such as nudges, which target individual behaviors. But the most promising applications of behavioral insights in this area involve more far-reaching and systemic interventions. In this article, we propose a series of policies inspired by behavioral research that we believe offer the greatest potential for success. These include interventions
to improve health-related behaviors, health insurance access, decisions about insurance plans, end-of-life care, and rates of medical (for example, organ and blood) donation. We conclude with a discussion of new technologies, such as electronic medical records and web- or mobile-based decision apps, which can enhance doctor and patient adherence to best medical practices. These technologies, however, also pose new challenges that can undermine the effectiveness of medical care delivery.
BACKGROUND: Multistakeholder alliances that bring together diverse organizations to work on community-level health issues are playing an increasingly prominent role in the U.S. health care system. Yet, these alliances by their nature are fragile. In particular, low barriers to exit make alliances particularly vulnerable to disruption if key stakeholders leave. What factors are linked to the sustainability of alliances? One way to approach this question is to examine the perceptions of alliance participants, whose on-going involvement in alliances likely will matter much to their sustainability. PURPOSE: This study addresses the question: “Under what conditions do participants in alliances consider that their alliances are well positioned for the future, will perform well over time, and will be able to deal effectively with future challenges?” METHODS: We draw on cross-sectional survey data collected in the summer of 2015 from a total number of 638 participants in 15 alliances that participated in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality program. RESULTS: Results from regression analyses indicate that alliance participants are more likely to view their alliances as sustainable when they (a) share a common vision, goals, and strategies for the alliance and (b) perceive that the alliance has performed effectively in the past. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Leaders of multistakeholder alliances may need to ensure that alliances are collective efforts that build success one step at a time: to the extent that participants believe they share a vision and strategies and have had some prior success working together, the more likely they are to view the alliance as sustainable.
Any historical assessment of the public health legacy of the Obama administration will have to look favorably at the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA; Pub L No. 111–148) on the US response to the opioid epidemic, and its ability to incentivize and assist states in taking action to fight against the epidemic.
BACKGROUND: To examine the extent to which state adoption of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2006 revisions to adult and adolescent HIV testing guidelines is associated with availability of other important prevention and medical services. We hypothesized that in states where the pretest counseling requirement for HIV testing was dropped from state legislation, substance use disorder treatment programs would have higher availability of HCV testing services than in states that had maintained this requirement. METHODS: We analyzed a nationally representative sample of 383 opioid treatment programs from the 2005 and 2011 National Drug Abuse Treatment System Survey (NDATSS). Data were collected from program directors and clinical supervisors through telephone surveys. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to measure associations between state adoption of CDC recommended guidelines for HIV pretest counseling and availability of HCV testing services. RESULTS: The effects of HIV testing legislative changes on HCV testing practices varied by type of opioid treatment program. In states that had removed the requirement for HIV pretest counseling, buprenorphine-only programs were more likely to offer HCV testing to their patients. The positive spillover effect of HIV pretest counseling policies, however, did not extend to methadone programs and did not translate into increased availability of on-site HCV testing in either program type. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight potential positive spillover effects of HIV testing policies on HCV testing practices. They also suggest that maximizing the benefits of HIV policies may require other initiatives, including resources and programmatic efforts that support systematic integration with other services and effective implementation.
Health care professionals, organizations, and policy makers are calling for expansion of the nurse practitioner (NP) workforce in primary care to assure timely access and high-quality care. However, most efforts promoting NP practice have been focused on state level scope of practice regulations, with limited attention to the organizational structures.
We examined NP practice environments in primary care organizations and the extent to which they were associated with NP retention measures.
Data were collected through mail survey of NPs practicing in 163 primary care organizations in Massachusetts in 2012. NP practice environment was measured by the Nurse Practitioner Primary Care Organizational Climate Questionnaire, which has four subscales: Professional Visibility, NP-Administration Relations, NP-Physician Relations, and Independent Practice and Support. Two global items measured job satisfaction and NPs' intent to leave their job. We aggregated NP level data to organization level to attain measures of practice environments. Multilevel logistic regression models were used.
NPs rated the relationship between NPs and physicians favorably, contrary to the relationship between NPs and administrators. All subscales measuring NP practice environment had similar influence on the outcome variables. With every unit increase in each standardized subscale score, the odds of job satisfaction factors increased about 20% whereas the odds of intention of turnover decreased about 20%. NPs from organizations with higher mean scores on the NP-Administration subscale had higher satisfaction with their jobs (OR = 1.24, 95% CI [1.12, 1.39]) and had lower intent to leave (OR = 0.79, 95% CI [0.70, 0.90]).
NPs were more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and less likely to report intent to leave if their organizations support NP practice, favorable relations with physicians and administration, and clear role visibility. Creating productive practice environments that can retain NPs is a potential strategy for increasing the primary care workforce capacity.
Multistakeholder alliances that bring together diverse organizations to work on health-related issues are playing an increasingly prominent role in the U.S. health care system. Prior research shows that collaborative decision-making and effective leadership are related to members' perceptions of value for their participation in alliances. Yet, we know little about how collaborative decision-making and leadership might matter over time in multistakeholder alliances.
The aim of this study was to advance understanding of the role of collaborative decision-making and leadership in individuals' assessments of the benefits and costs of their participation in multistakeholder alliances over time.
We draw on data collected from three rounds of surveys of alliance members (2007-2012) who participated in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Aligning Forces for Quality program.
Results from regression analyses indicate that individuals' perceptions of value for their participation in alliances shift over time: Perceived value is higher with collaborative decision-making when alliances are first formed and higher with more effective leadership as time passes after alliance formation.
Leaders of multistakeholder alliances may need to vary their behavior over time, shifting their emphasis from inclusive decision-making to task achievement.
More than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and 3.2 million are living with hepatitis C virus (HCV). An estimated 25 % of persons living with HIV also have HCV. It is therefore of great public health importance to ensure the prompt diagnosis of both HIV and HCV in populations that have the highest prevalence of both infections, including individuals with substance use disorders (SUD).
In this theory-driven, efficacy-effectiveness-implementation hybrid study, we will develop and test an on-site bundled rapid HIV/HCV testing intervention for SUD treatment programs. Its aim is to increase the receipt of HIV and HCV test results among SUD treatment patients. Using a rigorous process involving patients, providers, and program managers, we will incorporate rapid HCV testing into evidence-based HIV testing and linkage to care interventions. We will then test, in a randomized controlled trial, the extent to which this bundled rapid HIV/HCV testing approach increases receipt of HIV and HCV test results. Lastly, we will conduct formative research to understand the barriers to, and facilitators of, the adoption, implementation, and sustainability of the bundled rapid testing strategy in SUD treatment programs.
Novel approaches that effectively integrate on-site rapid HIV and rapid HCV testing are needed to address both the HIV and HCV epidemics. If feasible and efficacious, bundled rapid HIV/HCV testing may offer a scalable, potentially cost-effective approach to testing high-risk populations, such as patients of SUD treatment programs. It may ultimately lead to improved linkage to care and progress through the HIV and HCV care and treatment cascades.
Rapid HIV testing (RHT) greatly increases the proportion of clients who learn their test results. However, existing studies have not examined the adoption and implementation of RHT in programs treating persons with substance use disorders, one of the population groups at higher risk for HIV infection.
We examined 196 opioid treatment programs (OTPs) using data from the 2011 National Drug Abuse Treatment System Survey (NDATSS). We used logistic regressions to identify client and organizational characteristics of OTPs associated with availability of on-site RHT. We then used zero-inflated negative binomial regressions to measure the association between the availability of RHT on-site and the number of clients tested for HIV.
Only 31.6% of OTPs offered on-site rapid HIV testing to their clients. Rapid HIV testing was more commonly available on-site in larger, publicly owned and better-staffed OTPs. On the other hand, on-site rapid HIV testing was less common in OTPs that prescribed only buprenorphine as a method of opioid dependence treatment. The availability of rapid HIV testing on-site reduced the likelihood that an OTP did not test any of its clients during the prior year. But on-site availability rapid HIV testing was not otherwise associated with an increased number of clients tested for HIV at an OTP.
New strategies are needed to a) promote the adoption of rapid HIV testing on-site in substance use disorder treatment programs and b) encourage substance use disorder treatment providers to offer rapid HIV testing to their clients when it is available.
Health care organizations do not adopt best practices as often or quickly as they merit. This gap in the integration of best practices into routine practice remains a significant public health concern. The role of program managers in the adoption of best practices has seldom been investigated.
We investigated the association between characteristics of program managers and the adoption of hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing services in opioid treatment programs (OTPs). Data came from the 2005 (n = 187) and 2011 (n = 196) National Drug Abuse Treatment System Survey (NDATSS). We used multivariate regression models to examine correlates of the adoption of HCV testing. We included covariates describing program manager characteristics, such as their race/ethnicity, education, and their sources of information about developments in the field of substance use disorder treatment. We also controlled for characteristics of OTPs and the client populations they serve.
Program managers were predominantly white and female. A large proportion of program managers had post-graduate education. Program managers expressed strong support for preventive services, but they reported making limited use of available sources of information about developments in the field of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. The provision of any HCV testing (either on-site or off-site) in OTPs was positively associated with the extent to which a program manager was supportive of preventive services. Among OTPs offering any HCV testing to their clients, on-site HCV testing was more common among programs with an African American manager. It was also more common when program managers relied on a variety of information sources about developments in SUD treatment.
Various characteristics of program managers are associated with the adoption of HCV testing in OTPs. Promoting diversity among program managers, and increasing managers' access to information about developments in SUD treatment, may help foster the adoption of best practices.
Members of racial and ethnic minority groups are most likely to experience limited access and poor engagement in addiction treatment. Research has been limited on the role of program capacity and delivery of comprehensive care in improving access and retention among minorities with drug abuse issues. The goal of this study was to examine the extent to which access and retention are enhanced when racial and ethnic minorities receive care from high-capacity addiction health services (AHS) programs and via coordination with mental health and receipt of HIV testing services. Methods: This multilevel cross-sectional analysis involved data from 108 programs merged with client data from 2011 for 13,478 adults entering AHS. Multilevel negative binomial regression models were used to test interactions and indirect relationships between program capacity and days to enter treatment (wait time) and days in treatment (retention).
Compared to low-capacity programs and non-Latino and non-African American clients, Latinos and African Americans served in high-capacity programs reported shorter wait times to admission, as hypothesized. African Americans also had longer treatment retention in high-capacity programs. Receipt of HIV testing and program coordination of mental health services played an indirect role in the relationship between program capacity and wait time.
Program capacity and coordinated services in AHS may reduce disparities in access to care. Implications for supporting low-capacity programs to eliminate the disparity gap in access to care are discussed.
To meet their aims of managing population health to improve the quality and cost of health care in the United States, accountable care organizations (ACOs) will need to focus on coordinating care for individuals with substance abuse disorders. The prevalence of these disorders is high, and these individuals often suffer from comorbid chronic medical and social conditions. This article examines the extent to which the nation's fourteen thousand specialty substance abuse treatment (SAT) organizations, which have a daily census of more than 1 million patients, are contracting with ACOs across the country; we also examine factors associated with SAT organization involvement with ACOs. We draw on data from a recent (2014) nationally representative survey of executive directors and clinical supervisors from 635 SAT organizations. Results show that only 15 percent of these organizations had signed contracts with ACOs. Results from multivariate analyses show that directors' perceptions of market competition, organizational ownership, and geographic location are significantly related to SAT involvement with ACOs. We discuss implications for integrating the SAT specialty system with the mainstream health care system.
OBJECTIVES: We examined trends and organizational-level correlates of the availability of HCV testing in opioid treatment programs.
METHODS: We used generalized ordered logit models to examine associations between organizational characteristics of 383 opioid treatment programs from the 2005 and 2011 National Drug Abuse Treatment System Survey and HCV testing availability.
RESULTS: Between 2005 and 2011, the proportion of opioid treatment programs offering HCV testing increased but largely because of increases in off-site referrals rather than on-site testing. HCV testing availability was higher in opioid treatment programs affiliated with a hospital and those receiving federal funds. Opioid treatment programs providing both methadone and buprenorphine were more likely to offer any HCV testing, whereas opioid treatment programs providing only buprenorphine treatment were less likely to offer on-site testing. HCV testing availability was associated with more favorable staff-to-client ratios.
CONCLUSIONS: The increasing use of off-site referrals for HCV testing in opioid treatment programs likely limits opportunities for case finding, prevention, and treatment. Declines in federal funding for opioid treatment programs may be a key determinant of the availability of HCV testing in opioid treatment programs.
Effective treatment for patients with opioid use problems is as critical as ever given the upsurge in heroin and prescription opioid abuse. Yet, results from prior studies show that the majority of methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) programs in the US have not provided dose levels that meet evidence-based standards. Thus, this paper examines the extent to which US MMT programs have made changes in the past 23 years to provide adequate methadone doses; we also identify factors associated with variation in program performance. Program directors and clinical supervisors of nationally-representative methadone treatment programs were surveyed in 1988 (n = 172), 1990 (n = 140), 1995 (n = 116), 2000 (n = 150), 2005 (n = 146), and 2011 (n = 140). Results show that the proportion of patients who received doses below 60 mg/day—the minimum recommended—declined from 79.5 to 22.8% in a 23-year span. Results from random effects models show that programs that serve a higher proportion of African-American or Hispanic patients were more likely to report low-dose care. Programs with Joint Commission accreditation were more likely to provide higher doses, as were a program that serves a higher proportion of unemployed and older patients. Efforts to improve methadone treatment practices have made substantial progress, but 23% of patients across the nation are still receiving doses that are too low to be effective.
This article examines changes from 2005 to 2011 in the use of an evidence-based clinical innovation, buprenorphine use, among a nationally representative sample of opioid treatment programs and identifies characteristics associated with its adoption. We apply a model of the adoption of clinical innovations that focuses on the work needs and characteristics of staff; organizations' technical and social support for the innovation; local market dynamics and competition; and state policies governing the innovation. Results indicate that buprenorphine use increased 24% for detoxification and 47% for maintenance therapy between 2005 and 2011. Buprenorphine use was positively related to reliance on private insurance and availability of state subsidies to cover its cost and inversely related to the percentage of clients who injected opiates, county size, and local availability of methadone. The results indicate that financial incentives and market factors play important roles in opioid treatment programs' decisions to adopt evidence-based clinical innovations such as buprenorphine use.
Objective: To identify the extent to which clients in a national sample of opioid treatment programs (OTPs) received HIV testing in 2005 and 2011; to examine relationships between state laws for informed consent and pretest counseling and rates of HIV testing among OTP clients.
Data Source: Data were collected from a nationally representative sample of OTPs in 2005 (n = 171) and 2011 (n = 200).
Study Design: Random-effects logit and interval regression analyses were used to examine changes in HIV testing rates and the relationship of state laws to HIV testing among OTPs.
Data Collection: Data on OTP provision of HIV testing were collected in phone surveys from OTP managers; data also were collected on state laws for HIV testing.
Principal Findings: The percentage of OTPs offering HIV testing decreased significantly from 93 percent in 2005 to 64 percent in 2011. Similarly, the percentage of clients tested decreased from an average of 41 percent in 2005 to 17 percent in 2011. OTPs located in states whose laws do not require pretest counseling and that use opt-out consent were more likely to provide HIV testing and to test higher percentages of clients.
Conclusions: The results show the need to increase HIV testing among OTP clients; the results also underscore the beneficial possibilities of dropping pretest counseling as a requirement for HIV testing and of using the opt-out approach to informed consent for testing.
OBJECTIVE: To develop simple stylized models for evaluating the productivity and cost-efficiencies of different practice models to involve nurse practitioners (NPs) in primary care, and in particular to generate insights on what affects the performance of these models and how.
DATA SOURCES AND STUDY DESIGN: The productivity of a practice model is defined as the maximum number of patients that can be accounted for by the model under a given timeliness-to-care requirement; cost-efficiency is measured by the corresponding annual cost per patient in that model. Appropriate queueing analysis is conducted to generate formulas and values for these two performance measures. Model parameters for the analysis are extracted from the previous literature and survey reports. Sensitivity analysis is conducted to investigate the model performance under different scenarios and to verify the robustness of findings.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Employing an NP, whose salary is usually lower than a primary care physician, may not be cost-efficient, in particular when the NP's capacity is underutilized. Besides provider service rates, workload allocation among providers is one of the most important determinants for the cost-efficiency of a practice model involving NPs. Capacity pooling among providers could be a helpful strategy to improve efficiency in care delivery.
CONCLUSIONS: The productivity and cost-efficiency of a practice model depend heavily on how providers organize their work and a variety of other factors related to the practice environment. Queueing theory provides useful tools to take into account these factors in making strategic decisions on staffing and panel size selection for a practice model.