Professor and Associate Dean for Research
Cindy Parks Thomas, Ph.D, is Professor and Associate Dean for Research at the Brandeis University Heller Graduate School, with a research and evaluation focus on state and national health reform, pharmacy policy, insurance benefit design, and prescription drug abuse. Dr. Thomas' current work includes analyses of drug utilization and spending trends, evaluations of the impact of state coverage programs, Medicaid pharmacy coverage, and access to emerging pharmaceuticals, from the perspective of providers, beneficiaries and other stakeholders. In the area of behavioral health, her work includes adoption and impact of new treatments for substance abuse, monitoring the prescribing and use of controlled substances, and development of performance measures for medication assisted treatment of substance use disorders.
Dr. Thomas' additional published work includes adoption of health information technology and electronic prescribing, and drug management practices in managed care organizations. Work in the area of prescription drug policy for low income and elderly populations includes pharmaceutical utilization and expenditure trends, the impact of newly introduced medications, savings from use of generic medications, plan design analyses, and other prescription drug issues, particularly in the Medicare and Medicaid population.
Dr. Thomas holds a Ph.D. in Health Policy from Brandeis University Heller Graduate School and a Master's Degree in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health. She is also a Physician's Assistant, in the past specializing in internal medicine, trauma and emergency care in both Kaiser Health Plan and rural private practice settings.
Awards and Honors
- RWJ Spotlight Research Grantee (2011)
- Best abstract award - American Society of Addiction Medicine (2006)
- Minkoff Dissertation Award for Excellence in Health Economics (2000)
- Pew Health Policy Doctoral Fellowship (1993 - 1996)
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, Doyle, E, Kreiner, PW, Jones, C, Dubenitz, J, Horan, A, Stein, BD. "Prescribing patterns of buprenorphine waivered physicians." Drug and Alcohol Dependence 181. (2018): 213-218.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, Ritter, GA, Harris, AHS, Garnick, DW, Freedman, KI, Herbert, B. "Applying American Society of Addiction Medicine Performance Measures in Commercial Health Insurance and Services Data." Journal of Addiction Medicine ePub. (2018).
- Muench, U, Perloff, J, Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, Burehaus, P. "Prescribing practices by nurse practitioners and primary care physicians: A descriptive analysis of Medicare beneficiaries." Journal of Nursing Regulation 8. 1 (2017): 1-10.
- Shahraz, S, Pittas, AG, Saadati, M, Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, Lundquist, CM, Kent, DM.. "Research Letter: Change in testing, awareness of HgbA!c levels, and glycemic control in US adults, 2007-2014." Journal of the American Medical Association 318. 18 (2017): 1825.
- Wayne P, Macklin, EA, Lipsitz, L, Gagnon, P, Manor, B, Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, Lachman, M. "The Mind-body wellness in supportive housing (Mi-WISH) Study: Design and rationale of a cluster randomized controlled trial of tai chi in senior housing." Contemporary Clinical Trials 60. (2017): 96-104.
- Gordon SE, Dufour AB, Monti SM, Mattison MLP, Catic AG, Thomas CP, Lipsitz LA. "Impact of a Videoconference Educational Intervention on Physical Restraint and Antipsychotic Use in Nursing Homes: Results From the ECHO-AGE Pilot Study." Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 17. 6 (2016): 553-556.
- Mark T, Levit K, Hodgkin D, Thomas CP.. "Growth in use of treatment services for mental and substance use disorders under private insurance after the great recession." Psychiatric Services 67. 5 (2016): 504-509.
- Thomas CP, Hodgkin D, Levit K, Mark T.. "Growth in spending on substance use disorder treatment services for the privately insured population.." Drug and Alcohol Dependence 160. (2016): 143-150.
- Hodgkin D, Thomas, CP, OBrien M, Levit K, Mark TL.. "Projected spending on psychotropic medications, 2013-2020." Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 43. 4 (2015): 497-505.
- Fullerton CA, Kim M, Thomas CP, Lyman DR, Montejano LB, Dougherty RH, Daniels AS, Ghose SS, Delphin-Rittmon ME. "Medication-assisted treatment with methadone: assessing the evidence." Psychiatric Services 65. 2 (2014): 146-157.
- OBrien, Peggy M, Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, Dominic Hodgkin, Katharine Levit, and Tami L. Mark. "The diminished pipeline for medications to treat mental health and substance use disorders." Psychiatric Services 65. 9 (2014): 133-1438.
- Thomas, CP, Kim M, Nikitin R, Kreiner P, Clark T, Carrow GM. "Prescriber response to unsolicited prescription monitoring reports in Massachusetts.." Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 23. 9 (2014): 950-957.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, Fullerton CA, Kim M, Montejano L, Lyman DR, Dougherty RH, Daniels AS, Ghose SS, Delphin-Rittmon ME.. "Medication -assisted treatment with buprenorphine: assessing the evidence." Psychiatric Services 65. 2 (2014): 158-170.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, MeeLee Kim, Ruslan Nikitin, Peter Kreiner, ThomasClark, Grant M. Carrow. "Prescriber response to unsolicited prescription monitoring reports in Massachusetts." Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 23. 9 (2014): 950-957.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, Garnick DW, Horgan C, Miller K, Harris AH, Rosen MM. "Establishing the feasibility of measuring performance in use of addiction pharmacotherapy." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 45. 1 (2013): 11-18.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, Kim M, Kelleher SJ, Nikitin RV, Kreiner P, McDonald A, Carrow GM. "Early experience with electronic prescribing of controlled substances in a community setting." Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 20. (2013): e44-e51.
- SJ Kappel, Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks. Analytic Plan in Support of Vermont Health Reform: Report for the Green Mountain Care Board. Montpelier VT 2012.
- Thomas CP, Kim ML, McDonald A, Kreiner P, Kelleher SJ, Blackman MB, Kaufman PN, Carrow GM. "Prescribers' expectations and barriers to electronic prescribing of controlled substances." Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 19. 3 (2012): 375-381.
- Thomas, CP, Ryan M, Chapman J, Stason W, Tompkins C, Suaya J, Polsky D, Mannino D, Shepard D. "Incidence and cost of pneumonia in Medicare beneficiaries." Chest 42. 4 (2012): 973-981.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, DS Shepard. Evaluation of the Wisconsin SeniorCare Program. Madison WI 2012.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks et al.. "Advancing performance measures for use of substance use treatment medications." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 40. (2011): 35-43.
- Katz N, Panas L, Kim M, Audet A, Bilansky A, Eadie J, Kreiner P, Paillard F, Thomas CP.. "Usefulness of Prescription Monitoring rograms for Surveillance – Analysis of Schedule II Opioid Prescription Data in Massachusetts, 1996-2006." Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 19. 2 (2010): 115-23..
- Wallack SS, Thomas CP, Fleiger SP, and Altman SA.. Massachusetts Health Care Cost Trends in Context. A Report for the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy. Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy. Boston: 2010.
- Bishop CE, Ryan AM, Gilden DM, Kubisiak J, Thomas CP. "Effect of an Expenditure Cap on Low-Income Senior's Drug Use and Spending in a State Pharmacy Assistance Program." Health Services Research 44. 9 (2009): 1010-1028.
- Nandakumar AK, Beswick J, Thomas CP, Wallack SS, Kress D. "Pathways of Health Techonology Diffusion: How They Differ in the U.S. and Low-income Countries." Health Affairs 28. 4 (2009): 986-995.
- Thomas CP, Prottas J, and Fischer M. The MassHealth Pharmacy Program Implementation Report. Community Catalyst, the Robert Wood Johnson Prescription Project. Boston: 2009.
- Hodgkin D, Thomas CP, Ritter GA, Lee S, Simoni-Wastila L. "Effect of a three tier formulary on antidepressant use and expenditures." Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics 11. 2 (2008): 68-78.
- Hodgkin D, Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, Lee S, Ritter G, Simoni-Wastila L. "The Effect of a Three-Tier Formulary on Antidepressant Utilization and Expenditures." Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics 11. 2 (2008): 68-78.
- Katz N, Houle B, Fernandez KC, Kreiner P, Thomas CP, Kim M, Carrow GM, Audet A, Brushwood D. "Update on prescription monitoring in clinical practice: a survey study of prescription monitoring program administrators." Pain Med. July-Aug: 9. 5 (2008): 587-94.
- Reickmann T, Daley M, Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, McCarty D. "Client and counselor attitudes toward the use of medications for treatment of opioid dependence." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 32. 2 (2008): 207-215.
- Thomas CP, Reif S, Haq S, Wallack SS, Hoyt A, Ritter GA. "Use of buprenorphine for addiction treatment: Perspectives of addiction specialists and other psychiatrists." Psychiatric Services 59. 8 (2008): 909-916.
- Thomas Cindy. "Economic Analyses of the Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment Study." Academy Health Annual Research Meeting. Washington DC. June 10, 2008.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, Dominic Hodgkin, Stanley S Wallack, Timothy Martin, Grant A Ritter, Tami Mark. "Mental Health and substance Abuse Treatment Prescription Drugs: Lessons From a Period of High spending Growth." Journal of Pharmaceutical Finance, Economics and Policy 16. 3 (2008): 67-84.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, Sharon Reif, Sayeda Haq, Alex Hoyt, Stanley S Wallack,. "Use of buprenorphine for addiction treatment: Perspectives of addiction specialists and other psychiatrists." Psychiatric Services 59. 8 (2008): 909-916.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks. "Symposium: Medication assisted treatment for substance abuse - progress and performance measurement." Addiction Health Services Research. Athens GA. October 2007.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks. "Trends in the use of mental health medications." American Public Health Association. Washington DC. November 6, 2007.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks. The impact of providing prescription drug coverage to older Americans on health services utilization and costs. AARP Public Policy Institute. Washington DC: 2008.
- Thomas, Cindy P, Jeffrey Sussman. Impact of Medicare Part D on Massachusetts State Health Programs and Beneficiaries. Massachusetts Health Policy Forum. Boston: 2008.
- Wallack SS, Thomas CP, Chilingerian J, Reif S, Martin T. "Substance Abuse Treatment Organizations as Mediators of Social Policy: Slowing the Adoption of a Congressionally Approved Medication." The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research 10.1007/s11414-008-9132-4. (2008).
- Reif, S; Thomas, CP, Wallack SS. "Factors determining how early adopter physicians use buprenorphine in treatment." Journal of Addiction Medicine 1. 4 (2007): 205-212.
- Wallack SS, Thomas CP, Martin T Ryan A.. "Differences in prescription drug use in HMO and self-insured health plans." Medical Care Research and Review 64. 1 (2007): 98-116.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, Casler R. Conrad P, and Goodman E.. "Trends in prescribing of psychotropic medications to adolescents, 1996-2001." Psychiatric Services 57. 1 (2006): 63-69.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, Wallack SS, and Martin T.. "How do seniors use their prescription drug discount cards?." Health Affairs web exclusive. April 19, 2005 (2005).
- Harris, Katherine and Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks. "Naltrexone and pharmacy benefit management." Journal of Addictive Diseases 23. 4 (2004): 11-29.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks and McCarty, Dennis. "Adoption of substance abuse treatment medications in primary care." New Medications for Addictions: Social Legal and Ethical Issues. Washington DC: National Academy Press, 2004
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks. "Health plans' strategies to control prescriptoin drug spending." Health Affairs 23. 6 (2004): 141-148.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, Wallack SS, Lee S McCarty D, and Swift R.. "REsearch to Practice: Adoptoin of naltrexone by clinical providers." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 24. 2 (2003): 1-11.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks. "Perspective: Incentive formularies." The New England Journal of Medicine 349. (2003): 2186-2188.
- Altman Stuart and Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks. "Editorial: Controlling prescriptoin durg expenditures." The New England Journal of Medicine 346. 11 (2002): 855-856.
- Thomas, Cindy Lou Parks, Wallack SS, Lee S, and Ritter GA.. "Impact of design and management on retirees' prescriptoin drug use and spending.." Health Affairs web exclusive. December 4, 2002 (2002).