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House Committee Approves Amendment Eliminating Cost-Sharing for Medicaid Preventive Services

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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Partnership for Prevention Led Coalition Backing Amendment

WASHINGTON, July 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday unanimously approved an amendment to health reform legislation that would prohibit cost-sharing to Medicaid patients for recommended clinical preventive services. The amendment by Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., was supported by Partnership for Prevention, the American College of Preventive Medicine, the American Heart Association, and the Trust for America's Health.

"This amendment will make it easier for some of the poorest and most underserved Americans to obtain services that will help keep them healthy, instead of waiting for expensive treatment once they get sick," said Partnership for Prevention President Robert J. Gould, Ph.D. "These services are currently under-utilized, and cost-sharing requirements would put them out of reach for many families."

Capps' amendment would eliminate cost-sharing requirements for Medicaid clinical preventive services that have been recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The USPSTF reviews scientific evidence on clinical preventive services and rates them according to their effectiveness.

"Congresswoman Capps' knowledge of these issues has been honed by her years of service as a public health nurse," Gould said. "The American people are indeed fortunate to have a leader like her who understands that real health reform starts with prevention, and that prevention saves much more than money."

Earlier this week, President Obama cited the prohibition of cost-sharing for preventive services as one of eight consumer protections he wanted to provide through health reform legislation. A Partnership for Prevention study of USPSTF recommendations found 17 clinical preventive services that either save money or are cost-effective (cost less than $50,000 per quality-adjusted life year, or QALY). Of those 17, it found 10 that cost less than $15,000 per QALY.

Partnership for Prevention is a non-profit organization of business, government and health leaders working to make disease prevention and health promotion a national priority.

SOURCE Partnership for Prevention
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