Dr. Heidi Nelson discusses ACA impact during federal panel

Dr. Heidi NelsonJune 27, 2016

Heidi D. Nelson, M.D., MPH R '88, research professor of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology and medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, joined other women's health leaders on June 15 for a Washington, D.C. panel discussion on several topics, including how the Affordable Care Act has helped women and families and the impact of Women's Prevention Services Guidelines.

The panel, called "Healthy Women, Healthy Families," was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and was part of the first-ever United State of Women Summit.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell introduced the panel.  

Dr. Nelson was joined on the panel by Nancy Lee, M.D., HHS deputy assistant secretary of women's health, and director of the HHS Office on Women's Health, and Michael Lu, M.D., M.S., MPH, associate administrator of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration. 

"The expansion of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act has had a tremendous, positive impact on the health of millions of American women and their families," said Dr. Nelson. "The new prevention services provisions in 2011 opened even more doors to additional, essential services. It is a privilege to contribute to this historic and important transformation of U.S. health care."  

Dr. Nelson is the OHSU principal investigator for a HRSA-funded, five-year initiative, awarded in March, to recommend new preventive health services for women to be covered under the Affordable Care Act. This initiative continues the work of the previous Institute of Medicine panel, whose recommendations expanded insurance coverage of prevention services, including contraceptives, for 55 million women. The OHSU investigators will evaluate evidence supporting new recommendations and work with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and representatives from other major professional organizations to construct new recommendations for HHS.  

Since 1998, Dr. Nelson has been an investigator in the Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) at OHSU leading systematic evidence reviews and analyses for the U.S Preventive Services Task Force, National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Effective Healthcare Program and Drug Effectiveness Review Project, among others. Her work has contributed to the development of national practice guidelines and standards, as well as medication and health insurance coverage decisions. Her many publications have informed clinicians, researchers, policymakers, and patients of the state of evidence for a variety of clinical questions primarily related to women's health.

In 2011, she served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Preventive Services for Women. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services accepted the report's recommendations for inclusion under the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Nelson's research focus includes many areas of women's health including hormone therapy, cancer screening and prevention, genetic risk assessment and testing, domestic violence, osteoporosis, and others.