US Preventive Services Task Force Advocate Routine Testing For All Americans
The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently released a draft statement recommending routine HIV screening for the general US population, aged 15 to 65 years of age.
This A grade recommendation supplants the previous C grade, which proposed testing for high-risk or prevalence segments of the population, such as injection drug users and men who have sex with men. The new designation echoes the council of Center for Disease Control guidelines, which advocate moving HIV testing to routine care regardless of perceived risk, as benefits substantially outweigh potential harms. As a result, opt-out testing will be made widely available to the majority of Americans.
The implications of the USPSTF statement are large, particularly as regards funding in an era of national healthcare reform. Clinicians will no longer need to consider patients risk for the prevalence of HIV in a given population before testing; the New England Journal of Medicine explains, it will be clear that HIV testing for all patients 15 to 65 years of age will be reimbursed by public and private payers. There charges are critical to transforming HIV testing into a routine medical screening procedure.
Under the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), USPSTF guidelines play a critical role in determining not only which services will be reimbursed….but how…Improved coverage for HIV testing and reductions in the number of uninsured people should assist state and local health departments in expanding HIV testing.