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Health Reform Bill Should Include Clinical Preventive Services, Businesses and Health Advocates Urge Congressional Leaders
Date:5/4/2009

Cost-effective services often under-utilized

WASHINGTON, May 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than a dozen health advocacy organizations and businesses from across the country Monday urged congressional leaders to provide coverage and incentives for clinical preventive services such as immunizations, disease screenings, and behavioral counseling as part of health reform legislation.

"Widespread delivery of effective clinical preventive services would help millions of Americans live longer and healthier lives," the group said in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"Because recommended clinical preventive services improve health at a very reasonable cost, we urge you both to cover these services in existing federal health care programs, and to make coverage for effective preventive services an important part of health reform."

Many preventive services are currently under-utilized, even though they are known to be effective, the group said. They cited a study by the National Commission on Prevention Priorities that found that 100,000 lives would be saved each year if the use of just five important preventive services were increased from current levels to 90% of the target population. Those services were adult influenza immunization, aspirin counseling for cardiovascular health, tobacco counseling, breast cancer screening, and colorectal cancer screening.

Specifically, the group made the following recommendations:

  • Provide benefits under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Indian Health Service to cover clinical preventive services recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
  • Create incentives for, or require, states to cover co
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SOURCE Partnership for Prevention
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