We’ve just had a substantial victory for women’s health. A landmark report released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls for a number of women’s health services – including HPV testing in women over 30- to be added to a list of interventions covered by insurance plans at no cost.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asked the IOM to find gaps in women’s health programs and make subsequent recommendations for what should be included in HHS’ comprehensive list of preventive services.
Beyond HPV testing (in combination with a Pap test), the IOM report recommends several reproductive health services be covered, including counseling around contraception and sexually transmitted infections and HIV testing. The report also recommends that HHS add “the full range” of contraceptives that carry approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, the report recommends adding screening and counseling for diabetes, domestic violence counseling, counseling and equipment for breast feeding, and annual “well-women” clinic visits.
This means women can access this important (and often life-saving) services without a co-pay. Zip. Zero. Nada. Yeah!
On August 1, HHS published an interim rule that accepted the IOM recommendations in their entirety, a decision that becomes especially important given the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) mandates that services in the HHS list be covered by insurance plans, and that co-pays are eliminated. The ruling is followed by a 60-day commentary period during which the public may weigh in with their opinions.
Read the full IOM report online.
Posted by Fred Wyand
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