Washington, DC – Pivotal recommendations from the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI) have been accepted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Recommendations from WPSI, a program run by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists through a cooperative agreement with HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), are intended to guide clinical practice and coverage of preventive services for HRSA and other stakeholders.
The newly accepted recommendations were developed and updated to advance access to evidence-based preventive care. They include:
- NEW Recommendation: Preventing Obesity in Midlife Women: WPSI is the first organization to recommend counseling of midlife women aged 40 to 60 years about how to maintain current weight or limit weight gain to prevent obesity. Counseling may include individualized discussion of healthy eating and physical activity.
- Contraception (Updated): WPSI recommends that adolescent and adult patients have access to the full range of contraceptives and contraceptive care to prevent unintended pregnancies and improve health outcomes. This recommendation removes the language specifying coverage of "female controlled condoms" to "condoms," allowing male condoms to be covered without cost sharing.
- Breastfeeding Services and Supplies (Updated): WPSI recommends comprehensive lactation support services (including consultation; counseling; education by clinicians and peer support services; and breastfeeding equipment and supplies) during the antenatal, perinatal, and postpartum periods to optimize the successful initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding. Newly covered breastfeeding equipment and supplies include, but are not limited to, double electric breast pumps (including pump parts and maintenance) and breast milk storage supplies. Access to double electric pumps should be a priority to optimize breastfeeding and should not be predicated on prior failure of a manual pump. Breastfeeding equipment may also include equipment and supplies as clinically indicated to support dyads with breastfeeding difficulties and those who need additional services.
- Well Woman Preventive Visit (Updated): WPSI recommends at least one preventive care visit per year beginning in adolescence and continuing across the lifespan to ensure the provision of all recommended preventive services. The primary purpose of well visits is the delivery and coordination of recommended preventive services as determined by age and risk factors. Per the newly accepted WPSI recommendation, these services may be completed at a single visit or as part of a series of visits that take place over time to obtain all necessary services depending on a patient’s age, health status, reproductive health needs, pregnancy status, and risk factors. Well visits also include pre-pregnancy, prenatal, postpartum and interpregnancy visits.
"WPSI’s recommendations are founded upon evidence-based data and the knowledge that coverage of essential preventive care means healthier lives for our patients. HHS acceptance of our recommendations means that more individuals will be able to access meaningful preventive care," said Kimberly D. Gregory, MD, MPH, FACOG, chair of the WPSI Advisory Panel. "Importantly, the newly accepted recommendations will also help to advance our ongoing work toward equity by making preventive services like breastfeeding resources and condoms more accessible to all through coverage without cost sharing."