Women’s Health Care Advocates Speak out Against USPSTF for Finalizing Guidelines

January 12, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2016
CONTACT: Caroline DeLaney
cdelaney@gpg.com / (202) 295-0138

Women’s Health Care Advocates Speak out Against USPSTF for Finalizing Guidelines Despite Legislation Imposing a Two-Year Moratorium on Their Implementation
USPSTF action is certain to add to confusion over screening and apprehension about access and affordability.

WASHINGTON – Today, a group of like-minded women’s health care organizations expressed their disappointment with the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF or Task Force) for finalizing its draft breast cancer screening recommendations in spite of 2015 legislation mandating a moratorium on implementation. The Task Force chose to publish its guidelines just weeks after Congress passed the legislation that would prevent the recommendations from going into effect until Jan. 1, 2018, adding another layer of confusion for women and physicians.

Congress did not intervene on the clinical issues, but they did mandate a two-year “timeout” to seek clarity and allow for a more inclusive conversation about the value of breast cancer screening and early detection. It is hard to understand the Task Force’s rush to
finalize when Congress and numerous patient and survivor organizations heard clearly from women their desire to allow time to address the conflicting information.

Our organizations believe Congress’ intervention was critical since the USPSTF draft guidelines were so different from all the other clinical organizations who advise on breast screening guidelines. Of note, these organizations had invited representatives of the USPSTF to participate in a consensus conference regarding the guidelines in two weeks’ time.

Without the new law, the final recommendations would have immediately restricted access to mammograms for more than 22 million women between the ages of 40 and 49, whose additional out of pocket costs for the exam would potentially make it unaffordable to be screened. The group feels strongly that women and their families are hurt by confusion and conflicting information about mammography based on numerous guidelines and conflicting studies, and believe all women should be able to obtain an annual mammogram beginning at age 40. We thank Congress for the two-year “time out” and are now especially appreciative of their action.

MORE

American College of Radiology
American Women Unite for Breast Cancer Screening
Black Women’s Health Imperative
Breast Friends
Bright Pink
DenseBreast-info
Don’t be a Chump! Check for a Lump!
FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered)
Living Beyond Breast Cancer
Men Against Breast Cancer Fund
National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health
National Black Nurses Association
National Consortium of Breast Centers
National Hispanic Medical Association
Prevent Cancer Foundation
Sharsheret
Society of Breast Imaging
Tigerlily Foundation

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