Good news – American women have access to more preventive health services at no additional cost thanks to updates to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On December 20, 2016, the federal government reaffirmed and updated the list of covered preventive services originally adopted in 2011 by accepting new recommendations from the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI).
The WPSI recommendations are evidence-based and aim to improve women’s health across the lifespan. The federal government’s decision to accept the WPSI’s clinical recommendations means that most insurance plans must cover such preventive services with no co-payments, coinsurance, deductibles, or other cost-sharing charged to the patient.
Below are highlights for each WPSI recommendation:
Breast Cancer Screening for Average-Risk Women
The WPSI recommends mammography screening for average risk women beginning between age 40 and 50 and continuing at least biennially and as frequently as annually until at least age 74.
Breastfeeding Services and Supplies
The WPSI recommends lactation support services including counseling, education, and rentals of breastfeeding equipment and supplies during the antenatal, perinatal, and postpartum periods.
Screening for Cervical Cancer
The WPSI recommends cervical cancer screening for average risk women beginning at age 21 using the Pap test every 3 years. After age 30, co-testing with Pap and HPV testing is recommended every 5 years, or Pap testing alone every 3 years.
The WPSI recommends that adolescent and adult women have access to all FDA-approved forms of contraception as well as counseling, initiation of contraceptive use, and follow-up care provided by a healthcare provider.
Screening for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
As originally recommended, pregnant women should be screened between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation. The WPSI recommends that a 50-g glucose challenge test be used due to its “high sensitivity and specificity.” Women with an increased risk should be screened prior to 24 weeks.
Screening for HIV Infection
The WPSI recommends that counseling (education and risk assessment) for HIV takes place annually for adolescents and women, and screening should take place at least once throughout the lifespan, and additionally throughout pregnancy. More frequent screening is recommended based on a woman’s risk.
Screening for Interpersonal and Domestic Violence
The WPSI recommends screening adolescents and women for interpersonal and domestic violence at least annually, and when needed, providing or referring for initial intervention services. The WPSI lists the different types of interpersonal and domestic violence, risk factors, and the sample intervention services that may be sought.
Counseling for Sexually Transmitted Infections
The WPSI recommends directed behavioral counseling by a health care provider or other appropriately trained individual for sexually active adolescent and adult women at an increased risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The recommendation outlines how to determine if an individual is at an increased risk and advises that counseling to reduce the risk of STIs may be considered for adolescents and women who are not identified as high risk.
Well-Woman Preventive Visits
The WPSI recommends that women receive at least one preventive care visit per year beginning in adolescence and continuing across the lifespan to ensure that the recommended preventive services are obtained. The primary purpose of these visits should be the delivery and coordination of recommended preventive services as determined by age and risk factors.
For the full text of the U.S. Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)’s Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines, please visit: https://www.hrsa.gov/womensguidelines/.
For an Abridged Report of the WPSI Recommendations and Implementation Considerations, please visit: http://www.womenspreventivehealth.org/final-report/.
2016 Orange County Women's Health Summit
The Orange County Women’s Health Project, in collaboration with
Crean College of Health & Behavioral Sciences, Chapman University,
the Health Promotion Research Institute, California State University, Fullerton,
and the University of California, Irvine Initiative to End Family Violence
4th ORANGE COUNTY WOMEN’S HEALTH SUMMIT
Friday, October 21, 2016 at California State University, Fullerton
Click here for more details and to register for the 2016 Summit.
Click here to read more about our past Orange County Women's Health Policy Summits.
Thank You for Supporting Our Comedy Night with Katie Goodman
The Orange County Women’s Health Project hosted our first Comedy Night with Katie Goodman on November 5, 2015 at The Port Theater in Corona Del Mar. The event marked the public debut of the OCWHP and brought together approximately 100 champions for women’s health, including partners, supporters, and friends. The evening featured clever political satire, music, and humor by the inimitable Katie Goodman, an opportunity drawing, and live auction. Funds raised at the event will be used to advance policies that promote women's health, advocate for better access to needed services, improve communications between healthcare and social service providers, and reduce barriers to care.
Thank you again for generously supporting the OCWHP and for your contributions to a very successful evening!
Click here for additional photos from the Comedy Night.
Orange County Health & Domestic Violence System Integration Project
Thanks to the generosity of Blue Shield of California Foundation, the Orange County Women's Health Project awarded four sub-grants on May 1, 2015 to local agencies who will lead implementation of three strategies intended to establish a countywide, integrated, and collaborative Health & Domestic Violence System in Orange County:
STRATEGY 1 (Cross-Disciplinary Training): Human Options (on behalf of the OC-based, state-funded domestic violence organization and the UC Irvine Initiative to End Family Violence
STRATEGY 2 (Central Clearinghouse): 211 Orange County (211OC)
STRATEGY 3 (Public Health Campaign): Community Service Programs, Inc. (CSP)
We will work collaboratively with these organizations to coordinate the implementation of activities and evaluate the collective impact of the effort over the next four years.
Click here to read more about the HDV System.
The Orange County Women's Health Project Co-Sponsors the
2015 Women's Policy Summit: Advancing Women's Health, Wealth & Power
The Orange County Women's Health Project was a proud co-sponsor of the Third Annual California Women's Policy Summit that was held on January 14, 2015 at the Sacramento Convention Center. The event was hosted by the California Center for Research on Women and Families and featured a statistical overview of women and girls' health in California, panel discussions on economic empowerment and addressing violence against women and girls, a health policy fair, and a keynote address by The Honorable Toni Atkins, Speaker of the California State Assembly.
Click here to download the event program.