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Econometrica: Black Lives Matter

Econometrica: Black Lives Matter

BETHESDA, MD – The events unfolding over the last several months have been extremely difficult to watch. The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis set off a wave of protest and introspection about race in America, much of which is long overdue. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the Nation, particularly in long-neglected Black communities.

It is clear that we are experiencing a pivotal point in our Nation’s history.
Econometrica actively stands with the Black community, our colleagues, their families, and clients in the fight against racism, injustice, and inequality. We stand with our community and firmly declare Black Lives Matter, today and every day.

Econometrica will continue to strive to create and maintain a diverse and welcoming workplace, something that is pivotal to our high-quality work, mission, and success. Our colleagues deserve it, and our clients and partners expect it. We must not lose sight of these issues, today or in the future; we must instead work to make a positive impact on the world. There is still much work to be done, but we are filled with hope as the world comes together in solidarity.

We encourage everyone to support each other with kindness and patience. A few of the many ways to get involved include signing petitions that promote change, donating to causes that are important to you, and taking time to learn more about issues relating to racial discrimination.

Please stay safe and stay strong. We are with you.

“I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust… We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”

— Thurgood Marshall

Cyrus Baghelai's signature

 

 

Cyrus Baghelai
President/CEO

Econometrica will continue to strive to create and maintain a diverse and welcoming workplace, something that is pivotal to our high-quality work, mission, and success. Our colleagues deserve it, and our clients and partners expect it.

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield

Opioid Use Disorder and the Medicare/Medicaid Population

Opioid Use Disorder and the Medicare/Medicaid Population

BETHESDA, MD – The United States has long been engulfed in an opioid epidemic that stemmed from increased prescribing of opioids in the 1990s and is characterized today by use of synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, as well as illicit opioids such as heroin.[1] By 2017, there were 58 opioid prescriptions written for every 100 Americans.[2] This rise in opioid use has led to an increased prevalence of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) in a variety of populations.

OUD—which may involve the misuse of prescribed opioid medications, diverted opioid medications, or illicitly obtained heroin—is typically a chronic, relapsing illness associated with significant rates of morbidity and mortality.[3] The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, describes OUD as a “pattern of opioid use leading to problems or distress,” with at least two of the following occurring within a 12-month period:[4]

  1. Taking larger amounts or taking drugs over a longer period than intended.
  2. Persistent desire or unsuccessful effort to cut down or control opioid use.
  3. Spending a great deal of time obtaining or using the opioid or recovering from its effects.
  4. Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use opioids.
  5. Problems fulfilling obligations at work, school, or home.
  6. Continued opioid use despite having recurring social or interpersonal problems.
  7. Giving up or reducing activities because of opioid use.
  8. Using opioids in physically hazardous situations.
  9. Continued opioid use despite ongoing physical or psychological problems likely to have been caused or worsened by opioids.
  10. Increased tolerance (i.e., need for increased amounts, or diminished effect with continued use of the same amount).
  11. Experiencing withdrawal (opioid withdrawal syndrome) or taking opioids (or a closely related substance) to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Although OUD is similar to other substance use disorders, there are many unique features, including risk of physical dependence in as little as 4 to 8 weeks and severe symptoms such as chills, cramps, vomiting, and insomnia during withdrawal.[3] Despite its unique features, the factors contributing to OUD are very general and can include ease of access, environmental and genetic factors, social support system, addictivity of the drug, and early use.

Looking at the rate of opioid prescribing among Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries can help us gain an understanding of the development of OUD in America. In 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) analyzed the prevalence of OUD among beneficiaries and reported that 6 out of every 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries and 8.7 of every 1,000 Medicaid beneficiaries suffer from OUD.[5] Using data from 2006 to 2015, another CMS study found that 23.5 percent of dual-eligible beneficiaries in 2015 had a substance use disorder.[6] For the Medicaid-only population, there were 31 million opioid claims in 2017, and opioid prescriptions represented 4.57 percent of all Medicaid prescription claims.[7] One year earlier, in 2016, 14.4 million of the 43.6 million Medicare-only beneficiaries enrolled in Part D received opioids.[8]

The national data for OUD and opioid prescriptions is presented here to provide the foundation for a larger discussion around OUD in the United States. Over the course of this series of newsletters, we will dive into topics such as OUD treatment options, how COVID-19 is impacting treatment centers across the country, and much more. To read more of our OUD coverage, please click here. 

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2020). Opioid overdose: Understanding the epidemic. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html.

[2] CDC. (2020). Opioid overdose: Prescribing practices. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/prescribing/ prescribing-practices.html.

[3] Strain, E. (2020). Opioid use disorder: Epidemiology, pharmacology, clinical manifestations, course, screening, assessment, and diagnosis. UpToDate. Retrieved from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/opioid-use-disorder-epidemiology-pharmacology-clinical-manifestations-course-screening-assessment-and-diagnosis.

[4] American Psychiatric Association. (2018). Opioid use disorder. Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/opioid-use-disorder/opioid-use-disorder.

[5] CMS. (2018, June 11). CMS opioids roadmap. CMS.gov Blog. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/blog/cms-opioids-roadmap.

[6] Anderson, K. K., Hendrick, F., & McClair, V. (2018, October). Data analysis brief: National trends in high-dose chronic opioid utilization among dually eligible and Medicare-only beneficiaries (2006-2015). Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/Medicare-Medicaid-Coordination/Medicare-and-Medicaid-Coordination/ Medicare-Medicaid-Coordination-Office/DataStatisticalResources/Downloads/OpioidsDataBrief_2006-2015_10242018.pdf.

[7] CMS. (2019). Medicaid State Opioid Prescribing Mapping Tool. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/Medicare-Provider-Charge-Data/OpioidMap_Medicaid_State.

[8] Office of Inspector General. (2017, July). Opioids in Medicare Part D: Concerns about extreme use and questionable prescribing [OEI-02-17-00250]. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Retrieved from https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-02-17-00250.pdf.

About Econometrica: 

Founded in 1998, Econometrica is a research and management organization in Bethesda, MD, established to provide public- and private-sector clients with customized program support services. Econometrica works with multiple agencies to provide high-quality, cost-effective analyses, modeling, and economic evaluations. The company consistently receives exceptional scores from its clients and believes in three principles: technical capabilities, happy customers, and business development.

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)—which may involve the misuse of prescribed opioid medications, diverted opioid medications, or illicitly obtained heroin—is typically a chronic, relapsing illness associated with significant rates of morbidity and mortality.

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield

Econometrica Maintains Continued Operations During Coronavirus Pandemic

Econometrica Maintains Continued Operations During Coronavirus Pandemic

BETHESDA, MD – On March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency in response to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) nationwide. Econometrica, Inc., continues to monitor developments related to the coronavirus pandemic to ensure the safety of our staff, their families, and communities. We also are taking steps toward meeting our commitments to clients and partners and continue to provide the high-quality and timely services expected from Econometrica.

The following summarizes steps we have taken to date:

  • Econometrica has mandated that all employees work full time from home for the foreseeable future. We are complying with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to halt gatherings of more than 50 people and to encourage social distancing.
  • Employees working remotely have full access, using secure configurations, to Econometrica’s network resources, applications, and support, including communication tools to support telework. No project work will be interrupted by this move to a remote setup.
  • Project teams in our Health, Housing and Community Development, General Services, Capital Markets, and Data Analytics groups are moving toward scheduling all meetings virtually and limiting travel. All business travel is temporarily suspended during this time.
  • Staff members who work onsite at our clients’ offices continue to report to their respective agencies unless directed otherwise. We have been in contact with each client to develop contingency plans to address remote work should access to the client site is limited or an employee shows symptoms of COVID-19.
  • We have regularly communicated prevention strategies and tips from CDC and the American Red Cross for keeping homes and workplaces safe. Everyone has been advised to call their doctors and follow CDC recommendations for self-quarantine should they show any symptoms related to COVID-19.

Coronavirus infections increase at an exponential rate, with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Social distancing seems to be effective in reducing the spread, and Econometrica wants its employees to feel safe and remain healthy. As this outbreak unfolds, Econometrica will continue to provide its high-quality services with no reduction in availability or commitment.

About Econometrica:

Founded in 1998, Econometrica is a research and management organization in Bethesda, MD, established to provide public- and private-sector clients with customized program support services. Econometrica works with multiple agencies to provide high-quality, cost-effective analyses, modeling, and economic evaluations. The company consistently receives exceptional scores from its clients and believes in three principles: technical capabilities, happy customers, and business development.

Coronavirus infections increase at an exponential rate, with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Social distancing seems to be effective in reducing the spread, and Econometrica wants its employees to feel safe and remain healthy.

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield

Read more about Econometrica’s News.

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Request for Qualifications: Notice of Funding Availability for FY 2020 and FY 2021

Request for Qualifications: Notice of Funding Availability for FY 2020 and FY 2021

Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Consultant and Contractor Partner

Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 and FY 2021 Community Compass Technical Assistance and
Capacity Building Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)

Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) No.: FR-6400-N-06

Established in 1998, Econometrica is an economic research and analysis firm located in Bethesda, MD, that provides research, data analytics, and management services to local, state, and federal government clients, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and its grantees. Econometrica is requesting qualifications from firms and individuals interested in participating in our application in response to HUD’s FY 2020 and FY 2021 Community Compass Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Program NOFA (Opportunity No. FR-6400-N-06).

For more information from HUD regarding the FY 2020 and FY 2021 NOFA, the full announcement is accessible at the following link: https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/SPM/documents/HUD_FY2020andFY2021_ccta.pdf.

HUD’s NOFA invites competitive applications for 2 funding years, FY 2020 and FY 2021. Econometrica intends to request funding from both funding years.

Consultant/Contractor Partner RFQ Submission Deadline

The priority deadline has passed; however, Econometrica is now accepting applications on a continuous and rolling basis. Consultants and subcontractor firms with specialized skills and experience in the areas of economic development, affordable and assisted housing programs, community development, and disaster resilience and recovery are important members of our team. Experience with HUD data systems is a plus. Bilingual applicants are encouraged to apply. Please consider reviewing the application requirements and submitting a response to join our team.

Qualifications and Experience Required

In accordance with 2 CFR Part 200, Sections 200.317 through 200.326, Econometrica is providing in this RFQ a description of the technical requirements of functions to be performed or performance required, including the range of acceptable characteristics or minimum acceptable standards. The Community Compass initiative is designed to support HUD’s local and state grantees to address a range of challenges or obstacles to full program implementation. The goal of the technical assistance and capacity-building initiatives is to equip HUD’s grantees with the knowledge, skills, tools, organizational capacity, and systems to implement HUD programs and policies successfully and in compliance with state and federal rules, regulations, and program requirements. Therefore, Econometrica is searching for qualified firms and individuals who can provide experience and skills relevant to HUD programs, policies, systems, and initiatives. These programs, policies, systems, and initiatives include but are not limited to:

  • Affordable housing, mixed finance (including Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Rental Assistance Demonstration), and homeownership.
  • Community and economic development and disaster resilience.
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
  • Public housing operations and programs, including public housing accounting, Moving to Work, and Section 3.
  • Choice Neighborhoods, Promise Zones, and Opportunity Zones.
  • Disaster Recovery Grant Reporting (DRGR), Integrated Disbursement and Information System (IDIS), Line of Credit Control System (LOCCS), Section 3 Performance Evaluation and Registration System (SPEARS), Physical Needs Assessment (PNA), and Energy and Performance Information Center (EPIC).
  • Supportive housing and services.
  • Housing preservation, tenant participation, and capacity building.
  • Policy Development and Research (PD&R).
  • Fair housing, procurement, Davis-Bacon, energy and environment, and other cross-cutting requirements.
  • Workforce development.

Evaluation Criteria

All submissions received will be reviewed against the following selection criteria:

  • Experience and Technical Qualifications: The extent to which each respondent demonstrates skills and abilities related to the description above and acceptable experience with Econometrica, as applicable.
  • Rate Reasonableness: The extent to which rates are considered reasonable compared to the respondent’s experience and qualifications, market prices, and any rate limitations imposed by HUD. Before assigning a funded task, rates must be determined to be fair and reasonable. Respondents must be able to provide evidence of their past pattern of compensation. This evidence includes customary rates, including rates on non-government contracts or cooperative agreements.
    • Please note: Due to HUD restrictions on approval of hourly consultant rates of $200 or above, Econometrica may need to request additional documentation and rate justification from a consultant to provide to HUD for approval.
  • Debarment/Suspension Check: Potential consultants found to be suspended or debarred from federal government business will not be solicited for or awarded task orders. This status is verified by searching the System for Award Management: https://www.sam.gov.
  • Small Business: Econometrica is committed to utilizing small disadvantaged businesses, minority-owned firms, American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms, veteran-owned firms, and women’s business enterprises whenever possible.

All consultants will be selected in compliance with the procurement procedures and standards codified in 2 CFR 200. Selection of consultants will be competitive, as required by 2 CFR § 200.320.

Qualified Applicants

The qualifications and experience of selected individual consultants or partner firms may be included in Econometrica’s application to the NOFA. Those included may also be asked to assist with contributing expert knowledge in areas of the application response.

Instructions for Submission

  1. Review and respond to only the required Experience Form tab/worksheet 4 found in the attached Excel Workbook entitled “1.C. Applicant Summary, Interest, Capacity & Experience Workbook-REQUIRED.”
  2. Once you have completed the required Experience Form, email the Excel file along with the following documents to FY2020NOFA@EconometricaInc.com. Please use the subject line “Your Name – FY2020 NOFA.”
    • A scanned copy of the signed and dated Participation Agreement found in Appendix A of this RFQ.
    • Professional resumes for each individual included in the completed Experience Form.
    • Hourly rates for everyone included in the completed Experience Form.
    • Three professional references for work completed within the last 3 years. The references should be nonfamilial and not an Econometrica staff member. Please provide the following for each reference:
      • Contact name (first, last).
      • Title/role.
      • Organization.
      • Email.
      • Best phone.

The following instructions apply to the Experience Form (tab/worksheet 4) in Excel Workbook entitled “1.C. Applicant Summary, Interest, Capacity & Experience Workbook-REQUIRED”. REMEMBER you are ONLY required to complete the Experience Form. Econometrica as the Prime Applicant will complete the other tabs/worksheets.

  • For each staff person, consultant or partner organization populate the following (first and last); organization name, city, state, ZIP Code, and DUNS or unique identifier; role (in relation to you/your firm) and qualifications narrative.
  • For the qualifications narrative, provide a summary of the individual’s experience, expertise, and other qualifications relevant to the activities included in the Community Compass NOFA.
  • Use the “+” links (above the dark gray columns) to expand and show the relevant programs/topics in each HUD Office. To hide/collapse those programs/topics, use the “–” links.

Note: For each person listed, there are two steps to document years of experience:

  1. Enter the years of experience for each program/topic column.
  2. Enter the total number of unduplicated years of experience associated with each HUD program area.

For example, if Jane Doe has 5 years of experience with CDBG entitlements (2011–2016) and 8 years (2008–2016) with CDBG Disaster Recovery programs, the applicant would include 5 and 8 under the relevant program topics. Then, for the total years for the CDBG program, the applicant would include 8 years to represent unduplicated years. When entering the number of years of experience relevant to each program/topic, include only whole numbers; do not include text or decimals.

For this chart, 1 year means “10 months or more.” For instance, if a person has 9 months of experience, that person would be considered to have 0 years of experience, while a person with 5 years, 11 months of experience would be considered to have 6 years of experience.

Note: There are two columns under the Additional section that require a Yes or No response, rather than a numeric answer: the “Completed Administration and Rental Housing Compliance Certification courses” column and the “Bilingual (Spanish)” column.

Questions and Inquiries

Respondents are encouraged to submit questions about this RFQ in writing to: FY2020NOFA@EconometricaInc.com. Please use the subject line “Your Name – FY2020 NOFA Questions.”

Press contact: Jonathan Fusfield, JFusfield@EconometricaInc.com