Last week, Delaware was added to a growing list of states that truly prioritizes prevention in the coverage provided through our state’s Medicaid program.
The Delaware Division of Medicaid & Medical Assistance recently finalized a regulation which will provide all Medicaid patients with comprehensive coverage for all the recommended preventive services screenings with ratings of A & B by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). This coverage is offered with minimal cost-sharing to Medicaid patients.
The USPSTF is an independent panel of experts with staff support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that systematically reviews scientific evidence in prevention and evidence-based medicine. The panel is comprised of primary care providers such as internists, pediatricians, family physicians, gynecologists/obstetricians, nurses, and health behavior specialists. The panel conducts reviews of a broad range of clinical preventive health care services, such as screening, counseling, and preventive medications, and develops recommendations for primary care clinicians and health systems. The USPSTF assigns one of five letter grades to each of its recommendations. A and B recommendations are those that have the greatest amount of quality scientific evidence behind them with significant certainty that the net benefit to patients is moderate or substantial. Examples of such services for cardiovascular disease and stroke include blood pressure monitoring, cholesterol testing and drug therapy, behavioral counseling for a healthy diet, obesity screening, and tobacco cessation programs.
Thanks to the efforts of the American Heart Association’s Government Relations and Advocacy Team, Delawareans on Medicaid can have confidence now that they are covered for the most evidence-based preventive services and screening so they can better manage their health. We are privileged to continue to advocate for patients as our states considers, develops, and implements new ways of reforming our healthcare system.
Jonathan M. Kirch, Government Relations Director, Delaware and the City of Philadelphia