Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Awards Ten Research Grants to Guide States As They Implement Health Reform

    • October 15, 2014

Minneapolis, Minn.—The State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE), a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), announced 10 new grants to fund research addressing health reform issues that states face as they implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the impact of the ACA on coverage, health care utilization, and affordability. The SHARE grants will offer timely insights into a variety of health reform issues, including those related to the coverage provisions of the ACA.

“This new round of grants comes just as states are implementing most of the major provisions of the ACA, including the expansion of Medicaid and the launch of health insurance Marketplaces,” said Lynn Blewett, PhD, director of SHARE. “States continue to require sound evidence upon which to make a wide range of decisions about health insurance access and coverage—decisions that will have a profound effect on the health and health care of their residents.”

First funded by RWJF in 2007, SHARE provides information on the impact of coverage expansion efforts and timely guidance on how to effectively implement health reforms. The key goals of the program are to develop a coordinated approach to the study of health reform issues from a state perspective, and to produce and disseminate informative, user-friendly findings for state and federal policymakers and agencies. To facilitate these goals, SHARE aims to partner policymakers with researchers to ensure that state needs inform research from the outset, maximizing its utility.

The newest group of SHARE grants marks the fourth round of SHARE-funded research and includes:

  • Coverage, Access and Health Effects of the ACA Medicaid Expansion—Principal Investigator: Michael Dworsky, RAND Corporation
  • Early Evidence on Employment Responses to the Affordable Care Act—Principal Investigator: Anne B. Royalty, Indiana University
  • The Effect of the ACA Medicaid Expansion on Safety Net Hospital Utilization—Principal Investigator: Peter Cunningham, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • The Effect of Affordable Care Act Reforms on Specialty Drug Coverage:  A State-by-State Comparison—Principal Investigator: Erin Taylor, RAND Corporation
  • The Effect of Public Health Insurance on the Hospital Industry—Principal Investigator: Tal Gross, Columbia University
  • Geographic Variation in ACA-Related Media Messages and Health Insurance Enrollment—Principal Investigator: Sarah Gollust, University of Minnesota
  • Making ACA Coverage a Reality—A National Examination of Provider Network Monitoring Practices by States and Health Plans—Principal Investigator: Karen Brodsky, Health Management Associates
  • Pent-Up Health Care Demand After the ACA: Does It Exist and Will It Go Away?—Principal Investigator: Angela Fertig, Medica Research Institute
  • Trends in California Physicians’ Participation in Medicaid—Principal Investigator: Andrew Bindman, University of California, San Francisco
  • Understanding Consumer Choice Dynamics in the ACA State Marketplaces—Principal Investigator: Anna Sinaiko, Harvard School of Public Health

“State officials and others working to implement the health reform law are grappling with the full extent of the law’s effect—not just on Medicaid expansion and hospital utilization, but also on pent-up demand for care, consumer choice, employer-offered coverage, and more,” said Katherine Hempstead, who directs coverage issues at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “The scope of the Affordable Care Act reaches all corners of the U.S. health care system, and the projects funded through SHARE will help patients, providers and state officials navigate the new health care landscape.”

Technical support for the grantees’ work will be provided by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), an RWJF-funded research center in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, out of which SHARE operates.

For more information about SHARE and its grantees, visit


About the State Health Access Reform Evaluation

The State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE) is an Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) program that supports rigorous research on health reform issues, especially as they relate to the state implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With the passage of ACA, the impact of national reform on the states, particularly with respect to implementation, is a critical issue. SHARE-sponsored research will provide timely guidance about implementation as states consider their unique responsibilities in executing ACA. SHARE operates out of the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), an RWJF-funded research center in the Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all Americans to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937

Additional Media Contact: Donna Spencer

SHADAC (612) 624-1566