Women suffer disproportionate rates of chronic disease and disability from some conditions, and often have high out-of-pocket health care costs. The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) provides the United States with an opportunity to reduce existing health disparities by providing an unprecedented level of population health care coverage. The expansion of coverage to millions of uninsured Americans and the new standards for coverage of preventive services that are included in the ACA can potentially improve the health and well-being of individuals across the United States. Women in particular stand to benefit from these additional preventive health services.
Clinical Preventive Services for Women reviews the preventive services that are important to women's health and well-being. It recommends that eight preventive health services for women be added to the services that health plans will cover at no cost. The recommendations are based on a review of existing guidelines and an assessment of the evidence on the effectiveness of different preventive services. The services include improved screening for cervical cancer, sexually transmitted infections, and gestational diabetes; a fuller range of contraceptive education, counseling, methods, and services; services for pregnant women; at least one well-woman preventive care visit annually; and screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence, among others.
Clinical Preventive Services for Women identifies critical gaps in preventive services for women as well as measures that will further ensure optimal health and well-being. It can serve as a comprehensive guide for federal government agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention; state and local government agencies; policy makers; health care professionals; caregivers, and researchers.
"This report is historic."
--Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS)