Omaha Public Radio News
6:34 am
Thu July 21, 2011

IOM report recommends 8 additional preventive health services for women

Omaha, NE – The Institute of Medicine released a report yesterday that recommends eight additional preventive health care services for women.

Dr. Magda Peck, professor and associate dean for community engagement and health practice at UNMC's College of Public Health, was one of the 16 members of the committee. The IOM report was commissioned by President Obama in conjunction with the overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system. Dr. Peck says the report focuses on eight gaps in women's health care. The committee identified these gaps after looking at what's provided by the regular healthcare law and current scientific literature. Dr. Peck says the recommendations are based on solid evidence, "We recommend that women who are pregnant have first dollar coverage without co-pay to be screened for diabetes that occurs during pregnancy, often called gestational diabetes. When women get pap smears, you can do this special testing at the same time to see whether or not women are positive for HPV because this is one of the primary viruses that can sometimes lead to cervical cancer."

The committee also recommends counseling for sexually transmitted infections, lactation counseling and yearly well-woman preventive care visits. Dr. Peck says the Secretary of Health and Human Services will make her ruling on the recommendations on August 1st. After that, the Secretary will decide how these recommendations may be blended into the existing healthcare law.