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IOM Recommends Updates in Guidelines for Women's Health

Agency recommends eight preventive health services for women to be added to standard care

TUESDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- Eight preventive health services for women should be added to the services that health plans will cover at no cost to patients under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, according to a July 19 report from the Institute of Medicine.

The updated recommendations were based on a review of existing guidelines and an evaluation of data on the effectiveness of different preventive services. The recommendations address concerns that current guidelines on preventive services are not adequately addressing women's needs.

The report recommends the following preventive health services: screening for gestational diabetes, human papillomavirus testing as part of cervical cancer screening, counseling on sexually transmitted diseases, counseling and screening on HIV, counseling to prevent unintended pregnancy, lactation counseling, screening and counseling for prevention of domestic violence, and well-woman preventive care visits.

"This report provides a road map for improving the health and well-being of women," Linda Rosenstock, the dean of the School of Public Health at the University of California in Los Angeles, said in a statement. "The eight services we identified are necessary to support women's optimal health and well-being. Each recommendation stands on a foundation of evidence supporting its effectiveness."

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