Dr. Heidi Allen, an alumni of the MSW and PhD programs of the School of Social Work is using research to make a difference in the world. Dr. Allen and colleagues recently published early results from the Oregon Health Study, also called the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment. The Oregon Health Study is the first randomized clinical trial of the impact of Medicaid expansion to the uninsured. Not since the RAND health insurance experiment of the 1970’s has there been such a rigorous examination of health insurance. Using hospital records, credit reports, mortality data, and a longitudinal mail survey, Dr. Allen found that becoming insured led to improvements in access to health care, personal finances, and self-reported health and mental well-being. Dr. Allen is a leader in the fielding effort of the next phases of the study, including 12,000 in-person interviews with physical health screenings and 600 qualitative interviews. Results of the Oregon Health Study will be instrumental in national and state policy as states work to implement the 2014 Medicaid expansions of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Dr. Allen is currently an Assistant Professor at Columbia University School of Social Work.
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