New research presented at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting (ARM) examines the effect of certain policies on the mental health of lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults and health care access and affordability for women.

“The health care system in the United States reflects the same issues of racism, bias, and discrimination that are present in many other systems in this country,” said Margo Edmunds, AcademyHealth vice president, and director of the Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Minority Engagement in Health Services Research. “The studies presented at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting shine a light on what is contributing to health inequalities and evaluate the policy programs affecting them.”

Key studies at this year’s ARM include:   

  • State Laws Permitting Denial of Services to Same-Sex Couples Correlate with Severe Mental Distress Among Sexual Minority Adults
    Laws permitting denial of services to same-sex couples exist in 12 states and are under consideration by the United States Supreme Court. Researchers from Boston University School of Public Health, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard Medical School and Columbia University investigated these laws association with changes in the proportion of lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults experiencing severe mental distress. In comparing data between states, they found increases in mental distress among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in states with laws permitting the denial of services as compared to states that have no such laws.
  • Health Care Access and Affordability for Women after the Affordable Care Act
    Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute analyzed access and affordability for women of varying income levels after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. They found that women of all income groups reported improvements in access and affordability of care after implementation of the ACA, with larger improvements for the low- compared to high-income women, except for preventive care where only low-income women had consistent gains.

For more information about featured studies, please visit

Lauren Adams

Lauren Adams, M.A.

Senior Director of Communications and Marketing - AcademyHealth

Lauren Adams, M.A., is senior director of communications and marketing at AcademyHealth, where she oversees th... Read Bio

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