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Next step in updating the Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines

Summary: 
The updated Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines will be developed by women’s health experts to meet women’s unique preventive health needs.

Prevention is vital to the well-being of women across this country, and is a key component of the Affordable Care Act.  Developing a set of preventive health service guidelines that takes into account the unique preventive health needs of women throughout every stage of life is an essential activity for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

In 2011, HRSA worked with the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (formerly known as the Institutes of Medicine (IOM)) to develop the initial Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines (www.hrsa.gov/womensguidelines). Established with the aim of improving women’s health across the lifespan, these guidelines on preventive health screenings and services guide clinicians in determining which services they should routinely offer to their patients, and also now serve as the basis for insurance coverage at no cost-sharing to the patient.

IOM recommended reviewing and updating the guidelines at least every five years.  To support that goal, today, after a competitive process, HRSA awarded approximately $950,000 in funding per year for a five-year cooperative agreement with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to develop a collaborative coalition process to review and recommend updates to the current HRSA-supported Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines.  In support of this effort, ACOG will convene a coalition of provider, academic, and consumer-focused health professional organizations and conduct a scientifically rigorous review process to recommend updates to the existing guidelines.  This approach is similar to the cooperative agreement HRSA has in place with the American Academy of Pediatrics for the initial development and update of the Bright Futures guidelines for well-child and adolescent care.

The updated Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines will be:

  • Developed by women’s health experts to meet women’s unique preventive health needs throughout their lives;
  • Designed to preserve the clinician-patient relationship and allow patients to consult with their clinicians on what services are best-suited for them; and
  • Focused on gaps in current preventive services guidelines addressing women’s health.

The updated guidelines will complement and build upon recommendations from entities such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).  ACOG will ensure that there are processes to include public comment, specifically in defining the scope of the recommended guidelines; identifying and assessing the evidence base; and disseminating the guidelines. Following the update, ACOG will provide ongoing recommendations in response to changing standards and new scientific knowledge throughout the five-year project period.

For more information on the HRSA-supported Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines, visit www.hrsa.gov/womensguidelines

.@HHSgov is taking the next step in updating the Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines: http://1.usa.gov/1SfBCqp

 

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