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More suspect recommendations for women's health

madamab's picture

Oh crap. Yet more women's health "guidelines" from our corporate culture aimed at reducing costs.

Now, you should only get a Pap Smear every few years and not start till you’re in your 20s.

Under the headline “Negative Effects of Fewer Pap Smears Unknown,” the article reads:

Dr. Donnica Moore, president of Sapphire Women’s Health Group and an obstetrician-gynecologist by training, worried that the new guidelines might keep women who’ve had a normal Pap smear, or no symptoms, away from the doctor.

“Women may now assume — incorrectly — that if they only need a Pap smear every two or three years, then they only need to see their gynecologist every two to three years, and for many of these women, their gynecologist is their primary care physician,” said Moore. “Thus, they will not be getting a routine physical, breast exam, blood pressure measurement, and sexually-transmitted infection testing.”

Does anyone think this is a coincidence, given that the House health “insurance” reform bill covers Pap smears, but no wellness exams, which are what a woman gets when she goes to the gynecologist?

If so, I have a nice Palomino in my barn for you.

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S Brennan's picture
Submitted by S Brennan on

Obama [as President] has made it clear that reduced cost should be accomplished through reduced service. Because if you look at the "average", Americans get too much medical service. However, if you break it down by quintile, you find the upper quintile gets too much. So...Obama's answer is to reduce the services provided to the lower quintiles who already get too little.

"if only the czar knew", or wasn't hostage, or...or...or [anything here...besides he's a self-serving bought & paid for...shill]

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

I'm not quite ready to call the new mammogram recomendation "suspect".

Echidne explains here that mammograms are missing the more agressive cancers, because they spread too fast. Screening is only effective if it helps reduce mortality, and research seems to suggest that mammograms aren't actually effective at that.

I think anyone who wants a mammogram should get one, and it should be paid for by insurance, regardless of the results. But I don't think the recommendation are suspect.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

if these recommendations are adopted, then insurance companies will use them as an excuse not to pay for them for people who DO need them.

The recommendations might not be suspect, but the motivation behind releasing them now is.

Submitted by hipparchia on

but iirc those making the recommendations for less screening specifically state that it doesn't apply to women with known risk factors, like a family history of breast cancer.

i haven't read the latest, but several years ago the pap smear recommendations were that if you had no known risk factors and had two or three consecutive years of completely normal tests, then you could skip to getting tested every year. can't remember what the new recommended interval was, 2 years, i think but i'm not sure.

Submitted by hipparchia on

actually, various groups have been saying this about pap smears and mammograms and psa tests too for years and years.

we really need to put more research into understanding and treating cancer, but the conservatives' anti-science and anti-regulation and just general anti-spending mindsets have decimated our research and regulatory programs.

which means that we really haven't put much into learning what is effective screening and what is effective treatment for many years now.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

and we don't know what the negative effects of following these recommendations would be either.

Everyone on this blog, I'll bet, knows a woman who was saved by BSE's and mammograms in her 40's. How can we be saying that women should forego these life-saving procedures simply on a cost basis?

Women are not consumers, and health care is not to be sold like a product.

Card-carrying_Buddhist's picture
Submitted by Card-carrying_B... on

I dunno.

Hard to trust anything anyone says, really.

Bryan's picture
Submitted by Bryan on

If you feel you need the annual tests because of risk factors, then it's a pre-existing condition and isn't covered, otherwise it is an unnecessary procedure and isn't covered. So, it isn't going to be covered when it will do any good, regardless.

splashy9's picture
Submitted by splashy9 on

That is the real issue, isn't it.