Stephen Crystal (Ph. D., Harvard, 1981) is Board of Governors Professor and Distinguished Research Professor at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, where he directs the Center for Health Services Research, and the School of Social Work at Rutgers University. He is a leading social and behavioral scientist whose more than 350 papers and more than 100 technical reports, books, and other publications, with over 21,000 citations (h-index=79), have been highly influential in health systems and policy, substance use and treatment, mental and behavioral health, geriatric health services research, and health care outcomes, among other topics. He is recognized nationally for his rigorous and influential research on Medicaid and Medicare policies and systems, particularly for behavioral health care delivery, and he has made important contributions to research on healthcare disparities and heterogeneity of treatment and treatment response across a range of special populations, including older people, children, those with severe mental illness, those with substance use disorders, and others. Dr. Crystal has led many R-01 projects funded by NIDA, NIMH, and AHRQ, as well as the AHRQ­funded 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. Dr. Crystal’s work has brought rigorous research design and statistical methodology to challenging behavioral health issues of major population health impact, aimed at improving care for populations struggling with behavioral and mental health challenges. He has been a frequent advisor to federal and state health agencies, congressional committees, foundations, and health plans. His scholarly and policy-analytic work on treatment quality and outcomes in Medicaid populations has been highly regarded both nationally and internationally. He also has first-hand experience in policy implementation through his experience as a bureau director in New York City's human services super-agency, responsible for implementing major Medicaid-funded initiatives for individuals with mental health and substance use issues.

Selected Publications

Miles J, Treitler P, Lloyd J, Mahone A, Samples H, Hermida R, Gupta S, Duncan A, Baaklini V, Simon K, Crystal S. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Buprenorphine Receipt among Medicare Beneficiaries, 2015-19. Health Affairs 42(10), 2023. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2023.00205.
Bushnell G, Lloyd H, Olfson M, Cook S, Das H, Crystal S. Antipsychotic Medication Use in Medicaid-Insured Children Decreased Substantially between 2008 and 2016. Health Affairs 42(7), 2023. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2022.01625.

Treitler P, Nowels M, Samples H, Crystal S. Buprenorphine Utilization and Prescribing Among New Jersey Medicaid Beneficiaries: Impact of Medicaid Initiatives Designed to Improve Treatment Access. JAMA Network Open 6(5):e2312030, 2023. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.12030.

Treitler P, Nowels M, Feder K, Saloner B, Reeves D, DeBilio L, Crystal S. Hospital Use and Mortality Among Decarcerated Individuals with Substance Use Disorder After a Large-Scale COVID-19 Emergency Prison Release Program. JAMA Health Forum 4(6):e2312030, 2023. doi: 10.1001/jamahealthforum.2023.1200.

Samples H, Nowels MA, Williams AR, Olfson M, Crystal S. Buprenorphine after Nonfatal Opioid Overdose: Reduced Mortality Risk in Medicare Disability Beneficiaries. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 65(1):19-29, 2023. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2023.01.037. 

Treitler P, Samples H, Hermida R, Crystal S. Association of a State Prescribing Limits Policy with Opioid Prescribing and Long-Term Use: An Interrupted Time Series Analysis. Journal of General Internal Medicine 38(8):1862-1870, 2023. doi: 10.1007/s11606-022-07991-7. 

Crystal S, Nowels M, Samples H, Olfson M, Williams AR, Treitler P.  Opioid Overdose Survivors: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder and Risk of Repeat Overdose in Medicaid Patients. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 232:109269, 2022. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2022.109269. 

Treitler P, Enich M, Reeves D, Crystal S. Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in State Prisons: Perspectives of Formerly Incarcerated Persons. Substance Abuse 43(1):964-971, 2022.  doi: 10.1080/08897077.2022.2060448. 

Zewde N, Crystal S. Impact of the 2008 Recession on Wealth-Adjusted Income and Inequality for US Cohorts.  Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences 77(4):780-789, 2022. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbab141.

Mackie T, Shaefer A, Palatucci J, Leslie LK, Crystal S, Gusmano M, Karpman H. The Role of Formal Policy to Promote Informed Consent of Psychotropic Medications for Youth in Child Welfare Custody: A National Examination.  Administration and Policy in Mental Health 49(6):986-1003, 2022. doi: 10.1007/s10488-022-01212-3. 

Bowden CF, Simmel C, Mendez A, Yu M, Neese-Todd S, Crystal S. The Complexity of Psychotropic Medication Prescription and Treating Trauma Among Youth in Foster Care: Perspectives from the Lived Experience. Administration and Policy in Mental Health 49(5):821-833, 2022. doi: 10.1007/s10488-022-01203-4. 

Nguyen T, Ziedan E, Simon K, Miles J, Crystal S, Samples H, Gupta S. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Buprenorphine and Extended-Release Naltrexone Filled Prescriptions During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Network Open 5(6):e2214765, 2022. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.14765. 

Crystal S, Nowels M, Olfson M, Samples H, Williams AR, Treitler P.  Medically Treated Opioid Overdoses among New Jersey Medicaid Beneficiaries: Rapid Growth and Complex Comorbidity in a Setting of Growing Fentanyl Penetration. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 131:108546, 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2021.108546.