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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Very Interesting Article about the: Preventive Services Task Force

Here is an article by:
 By Scott Gottlieb with AEI
Scott Gottlieb, MD (scott.gottlieb@aei.org) is a resident fellow at AEI. Dr. Gottlieb consults with health care companies.
Key points in this Outlook:
  • Under President Obama’s health care plan, the United States Preventive Services Task Force now wields great power to decide which health services (like mammograms) doctors should provide, yet it has few checks on its sweeping authority.
  • Its mandates are likely to raise health insurance costs and premiums, while reducing the number of covered preventive services.
  • To improve accountability for an agency that is both out of date with the medical community and out of touch with the public, Congress should closely monitor the impact new mandates have on patient care.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), a previously obscure government advisory body has acquired vast authority to decide which health care services Americans will have access to. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) was created in 1984 as a government advisor with the mission of assessing the clinical utility of preventive health measures such as screening tests and issuing nonbinding recommendations about which measures doctors should incorporate into routine medical care. PPACA gives the USPSTF’s recommendations the force of law, making them de facto mandates on which preventive services private health plans and public programs such as Medicare must pay for. Services that do not make the USPSTF grade are unlikely to be covered at all. The USPSTF was not designed to wield this kind of sweeping and binding authority. It does not maintain the transparency, deliberative process, appeal process, or requirements for public notice and comment that are hallmarks of sound regulatory policymaking. Moreover, because the USPSTF has few guidelines governing its function, it has great flexibility to adapt its criteria and grow its mandate in ways that may conflict with political goals and public sentiment and lead to unintended consequences.
I highly suggest you read the full article by Clicking on the link below.


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