AAFP Applauds CMS’ Cervical Cancer Screening Decision

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Statement attributable to:
Robert Wergin, MD
American Academy of Family Physicians

“The American Academy of Family Physicians is thrilled to learn the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has determined that the evidence is sufficient to add Human Papillomavirus testing once every five years as an additional preventive service benefit under the Medicare program for asymptomatic beneficiaries aged 30 to 65 years in conjunction with the pap smear test.

“This decision is consistent with the best medical evidence, and provides women and their physicians more options for cervical cancer screening.

“The AAFP has encouraged CMS several times to make this important decision for women’s health. This coverage is consistent with the AAFP's recommendation for cervical cancer screening and in agreement with the United States Preventive Services Task Force’s recommendation to cover pap smears every three years for women 21 to 65 years of age and as an option for women 30 to 65 to extend screening to every five years when they have a combination of cytology and HPV testing. The combination of cytology with HPV testing allows women the choice to have less frequent screening without increasing their risk of developing cervical cancer.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Wergin, contact Megan Moriarty,  (800) 274-2237, Ext. 5223, or mmoriarty@aafp.org.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.  To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).