Call for Proposals

New Grants Support a Deeper Understanding of Medicaid Outcomes

The Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change™ is pleased to grant five awards in its first Call for Proposals.

The five winning proposals, each led by a Washington University faculty member, will investigate key questions impacting healthcare utilization and outcomes in Medicaid populations.

The areas of study range from prevention of trauma-related injuries to smoking cessation to identification of profiles of success for people with substance use disorders.

The five projects and researchers include:  

  • Secondary prevention to reduce trauma recidivism and musculoskeletal injury
    Patients who have a traumatic injury are at increased risk for a second injury, potentially more serious than the first. This study, conducted by Christopher Dy, MD, MPH, from the department of Orthopedic Surgery, will identify the frequency of and risk factors for trauma recidivism and debilitating musculoskeletal injury among Centene members, with the goal to prevent future injuries and serious life-long disability. The study will also evaluate the influence of mental health and substance abuse disorders on the likelihood of a second trauma. Study results will enable a greater understanding of the opportunities for secondary and tertiary prevention using behavior change strategies and potentially increase access to mental health resources.
  • Associations between mental health, health behaviors, and type 2 diabetes
    Darrell Hudson, PhD, MPH, a researcher from the Brown School, will determine mental health needs among Centene beneficiaries and examine associations between mental health conditions, health behaviors, such as diet and smoking, and diabetes self-management. Study results will inform how Envolve PeopleCare™ and Cenpatico, both subsidiaries of Centene Corporation, can better integrate health coaching and behavioral health counseling as well as help other healthcare providers improve the detection and treatment of mental health conditions among diabetics.

  • Characterizing Medicaid smokers and utilization of tobacco-dependence treatment
    This study, led by Amy McQueen, PhD, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at the School of Medicine, will leverage the strengths of multiple data sources to overcome limitations in identifying smokers among Centene members. Using this robust data set, McQueen will explore characteristics associated with smoking status and tobacco-dependence treatment. If successful, this novel approach will improve the way Centene identifies smokers eligible for smoking cessation interventions and potentially increase the number of members able to utilize these services.

  • Impact of “Medicaid Fee Bump” on patient care access
    This project, conducted by Derek Brown, PhD, from the Brown School, will study the impact of a 2013-14 natural experiment, the “Medicaid fee bump,” which increased primary care reimbursement rates with the goal of improving access for Medicaid beneficiaries. The study will directly assess how the policy affected physician behavior and healthcare utilization by individuals to determine if the goal of improved access was achieved. These results can then potentially be applied to other settings where reimbursement rates may impact patient care access.

  • Profiles and predictors of success in substance use disorder services
    David Patterson,  PhD, Associate Professor at the Brown School, will analyze de-identified Centene assessment, claims, provider and pharmacy data to develop health behavior profiles and predictors of success for members suffering from substance use disorders including opioid and alcohol abuse. These profiles and predictors will identify key elements of success and how Centene behavioral counseling and other community-based services can potentially be improved through adjustments in medication dosage, the provision of wraparound services or other treatment strategies.

The projects will begin in January and conclude in September 2017. Centene Corporation has health plan operations and implementations in 29 states, including 11 million members. Findings will be presented at upcoming Envolve Center meetings.


For more information or questions, please contact:

Yancey Crawford, MPH, Center Manager
Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change
George Warren Brown School of Social Work
crawfordy@wustl.edu or 314-935-3187