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The past 30 years have brought increasing recognition that public policy can help prevent and ameliorate alcohol-related problems. Broadly speaking, alcohol public policy seeks to moderate consumption, restrict underage access to alcohol and exposure to alcohol marketing, control the settings in which consumption occurs, separate consumption from risky behaviors such as operating a motor vehicle or watercraft, and regulate the provision and reimbursement of alcohol prevention and treatment services.
Alcohol Policy
The Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS)

The Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS), funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and implemented by CDM, provides accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on alcohol policies adopted by governments at the state and federal levels in the United States.

APIS is primarily designed for researchers seeking to study the effects of alcohol policies, either as single policies or as combinations of policies. It is also widely used by policymakers, advocates, and concerned citizens. The information provided by APIS is available in searchable form through a publicly accessible Web site. CDM staff develop summary indicators, measures, and variables to characterize alcohol-related policies to facilitate comparisons of policies across jurisdictions and/or over time, and prepare background information on each policy, including limitations to the APIS analyses. Staff also implement rigorous quality assurance procedures to ensure the utility, reliability, and integrity of the system and its various components and devise suitable display formats to represent policy characteristics and variation. APIS provides links to key alcohol policy resources and posts staff-authored scholarly papers on topics such as enforcement and compliance, the intersection of social science and legal analysis, and conceptual approaches to improving the measurement of state alcohol taxes.

Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Act (STOP Act)

The Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Act (STOP Act) directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to submit an annual Report to Congress (RTC) assessing the status of underage drinking in the United States, describing federal prevention programs, and evaluating the states’ progress in addressing the problem. SAMHSA has contracted with CDM to prepare the RTC under SAMHSA’s supervision. For each RTC, CDM prepares a systematic review of underage drinking epidemiology and consequences to provide contextual information for the analyses presented in the report. CDM also conducts a policy analysis of 25 state policies designed to reduce underage drinking, and develops conceptual structures and definitions for each policy, applies an innovative and comprehensive legal analysis of statutes and regulations in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and develops a profile for each state. To track state prevention efforts, CDM has developed and implements a yearly Web-based survey that tracks: implementation of state practices related to enforcement of underage drinking laws; state programs (including educational programs) for youth, parents, and caregivers; information on state interagency collaborations to prevent underage drinking; and estimates of state expenditures on underage drinking initiatives. The survey has yielded an annual response rate of 100 percent (all states and the District of Columbia responding).

Health Policy
Evaluation of HHS Delivery System Reform Efforts and Affordable Care Act (ACA) Provisions, HHS/PSC/SAS/DAM/Office of the Secretary

Under the guidance of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the research team (consisting of staff from CDM and its subcontractor) conducted an Evaluation of HHS Delivery System Reform Efforts and Affordable Care Act (ACA) Provisions. This project measured the effects of the implementation of a wide range of new programs designed to drive improvements in the organization and delivery of health care services under the ACA. The CDM Team specified a general conceptual model of health systems change that recognized that observed changes in outcomes are influenced by: the components and incentives of specific delivery reform initiatives, the characteristics of organizations participating in those initiatives, and the broader competitive market and local policy environments within which those organizations operate.

This evaluation provided HHS with recommendations on a coordinated evaluation plan to tie results from the numerous Medicare, Medicaid, and Dual Eligible delivery system reform initiatives and ACA provisions into an overall model of health system change. The ultimate objective of the ACA delivery reform initiative was to slow the rate of health spending, improve the value of services delivered, and drive changes in the delivery system that would facilitate ongoing performance improvement, not only for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, but also for the overall system.