Once again, awards sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield
of North Carolina are enabling Reynolda campus faculty
to develop creative, high-impact approaches to solve the
state’s healthcare problems. Winners each receive up to
$50,000 for the exciting one-year projects described be-
Christina Dalton, Economics:
Price Changes Ahead: Behavioral
Effects of Threshold Pricing in
Medicare Part D. Increasingly,
medical insurance plans feature
pricing mechanisms that change
after enrollees reach a certain
level of spending. Deductibles,
out-of-pocket maximums, and
donut holes attempt to cut costs,
but their efficacy depends on
enrollees adjusting their current spending in light of fu-
ture prices. This project will test a new, potentially
groundbreaking method to determine the behavioral
effects of these pricing features, based on data from Med-
icare Part D plans.
Steve Folmar, Anthropology:
Health Disparities and Cultural
Sensitivity in Mental Health En-
counters among College Stu-
dents. This study will complete a
project initiated last year with
funds provided by ORSP. Based
on the research team’s strength
in anthropology, psychiatry, and
psychology and its experience in
investigating the intersection of
culture and mental health in
Nepal, it will measure how cultural sensitivity affects psy-
chiatric therapy at Wake Forest University and Winston-
Salem State University. Although cultural influences on
psychiatric health and illness are increasingly recognized,
professional training in cultural sensitivity is not system-
atic, and efficacy is measured by self-report and patient
satisfaction. This project begins with qualitative ap-
proaches to identify key variables, resulting in a ques-
tionnaire for population-based research into how wide-
spread and effective cultural sensitivity is in a variety of
psychiatric therapy settings. Results will improve our
ability to address mental health disparities, not only on
college campuses, but among the general adult popula-
tion of North Carolina.
Mark Hall, Law: Reforming
and Expanding North Caro-
lina Medicaid: Empirical
Evidence to Inform Public
Policy. In 2012, the US Su-
preme Court ruled that
states may decline Patient
Protection and Affordable
Care Act (ACA) funding to
expand their Medicaid pro-
grams to cover substantially
more people near poverty, and North Carolina so far has
opted not to cover the additional 500,000 people who
would be eligible. Some reason that Medicaid should be
reformed before it is expanded. However, in September
2015, the NC General Assembly adopted managed care
reforms, following the very type of “hybrid” approach
supported by the policy brief (Shoaf & Hall, 2015a) and
op-ed pieces resulting from this project’s first round of
BCBS funding. To advance reform, this year’s project will
Pilot Grants
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