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The University of Texas at Austin

Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

CHASP Colloquia Series: Diffusion of Health Policy Innovations

Event Details

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
LBJ School, Bass Auditorium
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

RSVP: robin.pearson@austin.utexas.edu or 232-3423

The pace of adoption of research findings into health care policy and practice has been too slow, and in many areas of health care services delivery, a disconnect between research and practice persists. At the same time, treatment practices are being strongly influenced by managed care and related economic pressures to limit services, which further diminish interest in adopting new evidence-based practices that are viewed as increasing pressure to "do more with less."

In the research presented in this CHASP Colloquium, Professor Heinrich examines the adoption and diffusion of evidence-based pharmaceutical technologies developed to address addiction problems among clients served by substance abuse treatment facilities. Over time, she measures the influence and effects of state policies and other external factors?as well as internal treatment facility characteristics?on the adoption and diffusion of three pharmaceutical agents used to treat alcohol abuse.

Heinrich finds that policymakers and treatment facility managers have policy and administrative levers at hand that they can use to increase the availability of evidence-based pharmaceutical technologies for addiction treatment. Her research also points to the importance of awareness and exposure to the policies and practices of other organizations and the dissemination of information about the feasibility and effectiveness of innovations in health care.

Professor Heinrich then extends the discussion to describe how these study findings are informing the design and conduct of new research that she is undertaking to investigate what works in the implementation of health care reform. In proposed research, she expects to focus on identifying, characterizing and analyzing the implications of the decisions states make in setting up health insurance exchanges, while controlling for the baseline conditions and context within which these choices are made.