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Stephen Crystal, PhD

Adjunct Faculty

Dr. Crystal is Board of Governors Professor of Health  Services Research at Rutgers University, where he directs the Center for Health Services Research. He is recognized nationally for his rigorous and influential research on medication outcomes, and on Medicaid policies and systems, particularly for behavioral health care delivery. His more than 300 papers, books and other publications, with more than 15,000 citations, have been influential in behavioral health, substance abuse, Medicaid policy, and other fields. Dr. Crystal has led many R-01 projects funded by NIDA, NIMH, and AHRQ, as well as the AHRQ-funded Center for Education and Research on Mental Health Therapeutics, which served as a national observatory, center of evidence generation, and stakeholder resource on the safe and effective use of medications in behavioral health.  Through this and his many R-01 and R-18 funded studies, he has been a national leader in generating evidence on the comparative effectiveness of strategies for addressing behavioral health challenges in publicly funded populations. He has been a leader in initiatives to effectively use Medicaid data to measure, monitor and improve quality and outcomes of care for populations with behavioral health conditions.  In this context he has collaboratively developed quality measures to better understand antipsychotic medication treatment in children that have been adopted by NCQA (HEDIS) and CMS (Children’s Core Quality) as standard measures commonly used by state Medicaid programs nationally to support improvements in care.  

Research Profile
Health Services Research, Health Outcomes, Geriatrics, Youth, HIV, Mental Health, Opioid Use Disorder, Substance Use Disorders, Medicaid Policy, Behavioral Health

Full List of Publications on MyNCBI 

Select Publications 

  1. Williams AR, Samples H, Crystal S, Olfson M.  Acute Care, Prescription Opioid Use, and Overdose Following Discontinuation of Long-Term Buprenorphine Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder.  American Journal of Psychiatry. E-pub in advance of print 12/2/19, print publication AJP 177(2):117-124, 2020.  Published with editor’s note and editorial: Connery HS, Weiss RD.  Discontinuing Buprenorphine Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder: What Do We (Not) Know? American Journal of Psychiatry 177(2):104-106, 2020. 
  2. Bushnell GA, Crystal S, Olfson M.  Trends in Antipsychotic Treatment of Young, Privately Insured Children.  In press, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  
  3. Stroup TS, Gerhard T, Crystal S, Huang C, Tan Z, Wall M, Mathai C, Olfson M. Comparative Effectiveness of Adjunctive Psychotropic Medications in Schizophrenia.  JAMA Psychiatry 76(5):508-515, 2019.  doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.4489 
  4. Hayden J, Hayden J, Horter L, Parsons T, Ruble M, Townsend S, Klein C, Patino Duran L, Welge J, Crystal S, Patel N, Correll C, DelBello M.  Metabolic Monitoring Rates of Youth Treated with Second-Generation Antipsychotics in Usual Care: Results of a Large US National Commercial Health Plan.  Epub in advance of print, Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 2019.
  5. Edelman EJ, Li Y, Barry D, Braden J, Crystal S, Kerns RD, Gaither JR, Gordon KS, et al.  Trajectories of Self-Reported Opioid Use Among Patients with HIV Engaged in Care: Results From A National Cohort Study.  JAIDS 84(1):26-26, 2020.  doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002310 

March 2019 – February 2024 
New Jersey Alliance for Clinical Translational Science: NJ ACTS 
NIH (5UL1TR003017) 
Lead: Integrating Special Populations Core 

January 2019 – November 2023 
Examining the Synergistic Effects of Cannabis and Prescription Opioid Policies on Chronic Pain, Opioid Prescribing, and Opioid Overdose 
NIH/NIDA (1R01DA045872-01A1) 
Subcontract PI 

September 2018 – July 2023 
Advancing Patient Safety for Antipsychotic- Treated Children: Examining State Implementation of Safe
Use Practices 
AHRQ (1R01HS026001-01A1) 
Principal Investigator 

March 2019 – January 2023 
Opioid Overdoses Among Medicaid Beneficiaries: Predictors, Outcomes, and State Policy Effects 
NIH/NIDA (1R01DA047347) 
Principal Investigator 

July 2017 – March 2022 
Using Medicaid Data to Advance Care for People with Schizophrenia at Risk for HIV (Medicaid-DASH) 
NIH/NIMH (1R01MH112420) 
Subcontract PI 

February 2020 – February 2022 
Integrating Medications for Opioid Use Disorder into Primary Medical Care: Innovative Payer and Provider Strategies for Improving Treatment Engagement, Retention, Outcomes, and Disparities 
Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts 
Principal Investigator 

July 2020 – July 2022 
COVID-19 Impact on MOUD Participants, Treatment, and Outcomes: Disparate COVID-19 Vulnerability and Impact of Unique Natural Experiments 
Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts 
Principal Investigator 

January 2020 – June 2021 
Evaluating the Intensive Recovery Treatment Support (IRTS) Program for Offenders with Opioid Use Disorder 
Principal Investigator