Public University Partnership Program (PUPP)

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The Louisiana Public University Partnership Program (PUPP) is an innovative funding program between Louisiana Medicaid and Louisiana public universities and colleges to support research within Medicaid services. Drawing upon its educational knowledge and vast expertise across multiple disciplines, universities can support program development and policy analysis through research proposals that address the many challenges facing Medicaid programs today.  Research can consist of a new project or an expansion of existing efforts. Successful proposals will demonstrate how its findings will promote delivery of evidence-based, high-quality, accessible, and cost-effective care to Louisiana Medicaid members. LDH can only support projects that directly further the proper and efficient administration of the Louisiana Medicaid program.

PUPP is particularly interested in submissions that address the following Special Areas of Interest. The purpose of identifying these is to encourage but not limit submissions to these topics.

 Special Areas of Interest:

  • Rural Health – The majority of Louisiana parishes are designated as rural. Rural residents tend to be older and in poorer health than their urban counterparts, and rural communities often face challenges with access to care.
  • Maternal Health and Neonatal Health - Louisiana has some of the lowest ranked outcomes related to maternal morbidity and mortality. Maternal age and chronic conditions, such as hypertension, obesity, and diabetes are risk factors for poor maternal health outcomes. The health and wellbeing of mothers directly impacts that of their newborns, which can manifest at birth through increased care needs.
  • Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder - Medicaid is generally the largest and most important insurer for people with mental health and substance use disorders. Screening, diagnosis, and effective treatment of mental health and substance use disorders improves functioning, quality of life, and has been correlated to improved health outcomes
  • Cost-Quality Relationship - Ensuring that Louisiana Medicaid members receive high-value, evidence-based care (e.g., services, drugs, and devices), and do not receive low-value care, is a key component in value-based care delivery models that reduce costs while improving quality of care.

 PUPP will provide competitive preference for submissions that align with any of the Special Areas of Interest topics. Submissions will be given additional scoring consideration dependent upon the extent that the submission addresses the identified research topic.  This will complement any points the proposal earns under the selection criteria. 

 Note: Addressing the competitive preference areas is one of many factors that PUPP considers in making funding decisions. Receiving the competitive preference scoring does not guarantee an award

 This opportunity also encompasses a range of topics across multiple areas of the Louisiana Medicaid program to include care for adolescents and children;  reproductive care and during pregnancy;  effective care in appropriate settings; preventive care for adults; experience of care and Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers (CAHPS).  Please see the LDH quality dashboard for information on these measure groups:


Value Proposition to the University or College:

PUPP is a funding opportunity for cross-disciplinary university research from medicine, social and behavioral science, public health, public policy, health economics, data science and other disciplines. Partnerships with public colleges and universities provide an opportunity to leverage innovation that can inform Medicaid program development and operations and guide decisions about allocation of scarce resources.

PUPP funding is offered as cost-sharing with the university designating up to 50% of their research budget as public expenditures for the Medicaid administrative match. The university must contribute the same amount from non-federal sources as the university has been awarded. 

This allows for addition of new or expanding current research dollars at the universities or colleges.

Commitment to Diversity:

The Louisiana Department of Health’s (LDH’s) commitment to supporting research through the PUPP  which fosters the effort to "Provide directed outreach and education on PUPP to all Louisiana public universities and colleges, with a focus on Historically Black Colleges or Universities, to increase the number and diversity of applicants in this and subsequent years."

PUPP applicants and awardees should be aware of the LDH Diversity and Inclusion Statement: LDH characterizes diversity as representing the differences and similarities of all of us that include, for example, individual characteristics (e.g., disability, age, education level, poverty status, rural/urban setting, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation), values, beliefs, experiences and backgrounds. LDH also characterizes inclusion as creating a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the work of our agency. This is inclusive of LDH also building its capacity to create, support and/ or fund (i.e., via programming projects and contracts) efforts that do not discriminate against people, populations, and/or communities due to disability, age, education level, poverty status, rural/urban setting, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. LDH believes that diversity and inclusion aid in more equitably achieving its mission – “…protect and promote health and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for citizens of the State of Louisiana”.


Eligible Organizations: 

Any public institution of postsecondary education in Louisiana governed by the Board of Regents, the Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, the Board of Supervisors of Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, or the Board of Supervisors of Community and Technical Colleges that is engaged in health sciences research.

  • Private non-profit and private for-profit colleges and universities are  not eligible for this opportunity.

Full details of this opportunity, along with application submission requirements, are outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity expected late March 2024.