IOM fo­cuses on preven­tion

Modern Healthcare - - The Week in Healthcare - Jessica Zig­mond

The In­sti­tute of Medicine is look­ing to broaden the scope of women’s preven­tive-care ser­vices called for in last year’s health­care-re­form law and is urg­ing HHS to con­sider its rec­om­men­da­tions be­fore the agency de­vel­ops com­pre­hen­sive preven­tive-care guide­lines.

In a state­ment about the rec­om­men­da­tions, HHS Sec­re­tary Kath­leen Se­be­lius said the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Affordable Care Act gives Amer­i­cans ac­cess to preven­tive care through pri­vate in­surance plans with­out be­ing charged a de­ductible or co-pay­ment.

At HHS’ re­quest, the IOM was charged with pin­point­ing gaps in ser­vices out­lined in the Affordable Care Act. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, women stand to gain from ex­panded preven­tive ser­vices be­cause of their longer life ex­pectan­cies, re­pro­duc­tive and gen­der­spe­cific con­di­tions, and his­tor­i­cally greater bur­den of chronic disease and dis­abil­ity.

“This has a lot of ter­rific in­for­ma­tion for women and their providers about the types of preven­tive ser­vices women should be get­ting,” said Alina Sal­gan­i­coff, vice pres­i­dent and di­rec­tor of women’s health pol­icy at the Kaiser Fam­ily Foun­da­tion and a mem­ber of the com­mit­tee that is­sued the rec­om­men­da­tions (See chart). “It hasn’t been done through a gen­der lens be­fore.”

Sal­gan­i­coff said that al­though the rec­om­men­da­tion for ac­cess to free fam­ily plan­ning ser­vices has gar­nered much at­ten­tion, other ser­vices in­cluded in the rec­om­men­da­tions—namely screen­ing for ges­ta­tional di­a­betes and ser­vices to sup­port breast feed­ing—could keep mil­lions of Amer­i­can women healthy.

“We are re­view­ing the re­port closely and will re­lease the depart­ment’s rec­om­men­da­tions of what ad­di­tional preven­tive ser­vices for women should be cov­ered with­out cost-shar­ing very soon,” Se­be­lius said in her state­ment.

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