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ACOG Welcomes New Federal Regulations Requiring Free Preventive Health Care Services

July 19, 2010

Washington, DC -- The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) supports the federal regulations issued on July 14 requiring new private health plans to provide free preventive health services to their enrollees, particularly as it pertains to women's health. ACOG worked closely with Congress to win inclusion of this important part of the Affordable Care Act and applauds the Obama Administration for working so effectively in bringing this protection to our patients.

The new regulations, issued jointly by the US Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury, will enable women to get the recommended screenings and immunizations to keep them healthy without worrying about co-payments and deductibles. Health plans will now be required to cover preventive care provided to women under both the US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations and new guidelines being developed by an independent group of experts, including doctors, nurses, and scientists, expected to be issued by August 1, 2011.

Preventive services guaranteed in these regulations will help women have a healthy pregnancy and help safeguard them from obesity, heart disease, and breast and cervical cancers.

ACOG recognizes, too, that important work lies ahead. "Last week, I met with the White House and encouraged the Administration to ensure that family planning and contraception, well-women visits, and prenatal counseling are included in the comprehensive guidelines it is developing for women's preventive services," said Richard N. Waldman, MD, ACOG President. "These guidelines should incorporate scientifically and medically sound recommendations from ACOG and should be updated as new science emerges."

As the nation's largest group of physicians providing health care for women, ACOG strongly supports preventive care. Wider access to cervical cancer screening, mammography, prenatal tests, and routine vaccinations will help reduce disparities, prevent diseases, and save lives.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation's leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of approximately 55,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women's health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org


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