Purpose of review: In July 2011, in response to language in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) tasked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to develop a report on the clinical preventive services necessary for women. The committee proposed eight new clinical preventive service recommendations aimed at closing significant gaps in preventive healthcare. This article reviews the process, findings, and the implications for obstetrician gynecologists and other primary care clinicians. Obstetricians and gynecologists play a major role in delivering primary care to women and many of the services recommended by the Committee are part of the core set of obstetrics and gynecology services.
Recent findings: The women's health amendment to the ACA (Federal Register, 2010) requires that new private health plans cover - with no cost-sharing requirements - preventive healthcare services for women. Congress requested that a review be conducted to ascertain whether there were any additional needed preventive services specific to women's health that should be included.
Summary: The IOM Committee on Preventive Services for Women recommended eight clinical measures specific to women's health that should be considered for coverage without co-payment. The US Department of HHS reviewed and adopted these recommendations, and, as a result, new health plans will need to include these services as part of insurance policies with plan years beginning on or after 1 August 2012. The authors discuss the implications of the IOM recommendations on practicing clinicians and on their potential impact on women's health and well being.