Richard Hansen Receives Grant To Further Mental Health Study

Richard Hansen

Sept. 23, 2014

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – Richard Hansen, Ph.D., is the recipient of a grant subaward from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to further research in medication management in the mental health population. Hansen is a Gilliland professor and department head in Health Outcomes Research and Policy in the Harrison School of Pharmacy.

The grant furthers research in Hansen’s project entitled “Rapid Secondary Analysis to Optimize Care for Patients with Multiple Chronic Conditions.” The project is designed to study the continuity of medication management in Medicaid patients. Hansen’s $63,000 portion of the grant is a component of the $393,000 award made by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to a consortium of Auburn University, Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

“In our prior work, we found that for patients with multiple conditions and taking multiple medications the most important predictor of having poor treatment outcomes was how many different providers were involved in the patients care,” said Hansen. “This study will allow us to further explore this phenomenon specifically in a mental health population, and test the impact of a medical home care coordination model on outcomes. This work can help guide the re-design of healthcare for better care coordination and better outcomes.”

Hansen’s work suggests there is evidence that some healthcare providers poorly manage comorbid problems (the existence of simultaneous but independent medical conditions) in patients with schizophrenia.

One reason for the mismanagement is poor care coordination between psychiatric specialists treating the mental health needs of patients and primary care providers managing other symptoms. The lack of coordination can result in inappropriate prescribing, duplication of medication therapy, medication non-adherence, and more aggressive health service utilization for high expenditure intensive resources such as inpatient hospitalizations and emergency room encounters.

The study extends upon prior work performed by the research team to better understand continuity of medication management (COMM) in a Medicaid population across multiple care settings and the role that a severe mental health condition (schizophrenia) has on COMM. Study results will improve our understanding of medication care coordination, the role of mental health in care coordination, and the benefits of the medical home model at improving care for patients with multiple chronic conditions.


About the Harrison School of Pharmacy
Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 20 percent of all pharmacy schools in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the School offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.) while also offering a master’s in pharmaceutical sciences. For more information about the School, please call 334.844.8348 or visit

Last Updated: March 27, 2017