Large Scale Eval Week: Humberto Reynoso-Vallejo on Using Mixed-Methods for Complex Evaluations of State Law Initiatives

Hello, I am Humberto Reynoso-Vallejo principal investigator evaluating the Health Care Cost Containment Law (Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012) from the Office of the State Auditor in Massachusetts.

In order to capture the broad perspectives of key stakeholders and integrate them with the quantitative analysis, we developed a longitudinal mixed-methods quasi-experimental design for our work in this complex evaluation. This mixed-methods approach is designed to answer the following Chapter 224 high-level evaluation questions:

1) What is the impact on health care costs, including the extent to which savings have reduced out-of-pocket costs to individuals and families, health insurance premium costs, and health care costs borne by the Commonwealth?

2) What is the impact on access to health care services and quality of care in different regions of the state and for different populations, particularly for children, the elderly, low-income individuals, individuals with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations?

3) What is the impact on access and quality of care for specific services, particularly primary care, and behavioral health which includes both substance use and mental health services?

4) What is the impact on the health care workforce, including, but not limited to, health care worker recruitment and retention, health care worker shortages, training and education requirements and job satisfaction?; and,

5) What is the impact on public health, including, but not limited to, reducing the prevalence of preventable health conditions, improving employee wellness, and reducing racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes?

Hot Tips:

  • Considering that this is a longitudinal study, we will conduct open-ended semi-structured interviews through an online survey with key stakeholders at the early stages of the evaluation and integrate their responses into the quantitative baseline.
  • We will conduct in-depth semi-structured interviews as follow-up with selected key stakeholders based on their responses to the online survey. During these interviews, we will share the preliminary findings from the quantitative baseline and ask stakeholders for their insights in explaining them.
  • Once the longitudinal quantitative analysis is complete, we will share the findings with a small group of selected stakeholders, and schedule face-to-face in-depth semi-structured interviews to explore their interpretation of the quantitative analysis results. It will also be important to consider contextual factors that may explain the research outcomes.
  • Integrate all the research pieces into the final report. Structure the report it in a conducive way to maximize understanding of diverse group of readers –policy makers, agency executives, program managers, other oversight agencies, and the general public.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Large Scale Evaluation Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from evaluators who have worked on the evaluation of the Health Care Cost Containment Law in Massachusetts. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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