Updated Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines: A Huge Contribution to Women’s Health that Should Not Be Politicized
“Today, the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) took an important step forward for women’s health and well-being by announcing an update to the Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines, which are a key reason the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the greatest advance for women’s health in a generation. Fifty-five million women have benefited from the ACA’s guarantee of preventive care with no cost sharing. These new guidelines will improve women’s health and access to care throughout their lifespan.
The announcement comes after HRSA’s decision to adopt the recommendations of an expert panel, the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI) Multidisciplinary Steering Committee, which was led by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). ACOG and its panel of experts have done a tremendous service by using a rigorous, evidence-based, collaborative process, informed by patient as well as clinical perspectives, to build consensus around preventive care recommendations for women. We applaud ACOG for managing this process, and commend HRSA for adopting the recommendations as updated guidelines. Quite simply, preventive health care improves women’s health.
The updated guidelines cover a range of women’s health issues including: screening for breast and cervical cancer, gestational diabetes, HIV, and intimate partner and domestic violence; counseling on sexually transmitted infections; breastfeeding services and supplies; contraception and contraceptive counseling; and well-woman visits. Taken together, they are a huge contribution to women’s health. The National Partnership is proud to have served on the WPSI Multidisciplinary Steering Committee and to have contributed to the recommendations.
We will work tirelessly to promote the guidelines, so that all women will receive a comprehensive set of preventive services throughout their lives. And we urge the incoming leaders at HRSA and throughout the Trump administration to support these guidelines as well. There can be no doubt that ensuring more women have access to preventive health services improves women’s health and the public health. The new administration must not politicize, diminish or delay efforts to ensure that these protections for women’s health services are in place.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.