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Institute of Medicine Report: HPV Testing Should be Part of Comprehensive Health Services for Women

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A landmark report released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls for a number of women’s health services - including HPV testing in women over 30- to be added to a list of interventions covered by insurance plans at no cost. Lady folding hands

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asked the IOM to find gaps in women’s health programs and make subsequent recommendations for what should be included in HHS’ comprehensive list of preventive services.

Beyond HPV testing (in combination with a Pap test), the IOM report recommends several reproductive health services be covered, including counseling around contraception and sexually transmitted infections and HIV testing. The report also recommends that HHS add “the full range” of contraceptives that carry approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

Additionally, the report recommends adding screening and counseling for diabetes, domestic violence counseling, counseling and equipment for breast feeding, and annual “well-women” clinic visits.

HHS is expected to decide on these recommendations later this summer. Such decisions are especially important now, given the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) mandates that services in the HHS list be covered by insurance plans, and that co-pays are eliminated.

To read the full IOM report, visit www.nationalacademies.org.