Stephen Crystal, Ph.D.
Board of Governors Professor of Health Services Research
Director, Division on Aging
Director of the Center for Health Services Research Institute
Dr. Crystal is Board of Governors Professor of Health Services Research; Director, Division on Aging; and Director of the Center for Health Services Research, at Rutgers’ Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research. For NJ ACTS, Dr. Crystal will lead the Special Populations Hub Capacity component and co-lead the Informatics component, serving as lead for the Data Linkages portion of the Informatics activity. Dr. Crystal is a leading expert in Gerontological health and has also led important studies in the areas of child health, severe mental illness, HIV/AIDS and substance abuse, among others. A national expert on the use and outcomes of psychopharmacological treatments, Dr. Crystal has for the last ten years directed the AHRQ funded Center on Education and Research on Mental Health Therapeutics (CERTs) at Rutgers. He also has directed the six-state MEDNET/SMINET consortium, a public/academic partnership with state Medicaid, mental health, and child welfare agencies to increase the use of evidence-based mental health practices, and leads a major PCORI funded study of the effectiveness of psychotropic oversight systems. Through these projects, he has developed at Rutgers’ Institute for Health extensive core data resources linking administrative, clinical, and outcomes data, incorporating information on more than 100 million individuals participating in Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance systems and long-term care settings, housed in a high-security data enclave at the Institute designed to meet CMS and other data provider standards for management of potentially identifiable data. A recurrent theme in his work has been the assessment of outcomes for individuals with multiple chronic conditions, and understanding heterogeneity of treatment effects in complex populations. His more than 300 publications, with more than 9100 citations, span a range of health, mental health, and substance abuse issues, often based on Medicaid data linked with other datasets. He has published extensively on substance abuse and its treatment in publicly funded populations, has led a NIDA R01 and has served on NIDA study sections. He is a recognized expert and leader in mental health services research, HIV health services research, and outcomes research methodology. He brings to NJ ACTS extensive expertise in carrying out detailed studies on treatment outcomes in low-income and/or elderly populations; analyses of linked clinical and claims datasets, and safety and effectiveness of medications. His work has contributed significantly to the development of methods incorporating best practices for measuring and modeling outcomes of treatments in large longitudinal healthcare databases, and has been influential in national and state policies in long-term care, HIV, and mental health treatment. His research team developed quality measures for psychotropic use in children that are now part of the national-standard HEDIS and CMS core quality measure sets, and developed recommendations leading to policy changes in several states. He is a frequent advisor to federal, state and international health agencies.