AAFP to HHS: Protect the Patient-Physician Relationship; Preserve Access to Family Planning Methods

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Statement attributable to:
Michael Munger, MD
American Academy of Family Physicians

“The American Academy of Family Physicians is concerned that the proposed revisions to Title X regulations aim to interfere in the practice of medicine and threaten access to evidence-based care for patients.

“More than 8.7 million women gained maternity care services thanks to this coverage, and 62 million women with private insurance now have access to vital preventive services. The proposed rule forces family physicians to omit important and accurate medical information necessary for our patients to make timely, fully informed decisions. This encroaches on physicians’ codes of ethics and responsibilities to our patients. When our government restricts the information that can be given to women, women will receive substandard medical care and their health will suffer.

“The AAFP opposes legislative or regulatory restrictions on information that can be given to women, or policies that force physicians to provide women with inaccurate information. This could lead to increased rates of unplanned pregnancy, pregnancy complications, and undiagnosed medical conditions. Research shows women who have unplanned pregnancies are more likely to delay prenatal care, increasing the risk of birth defects, low birth weight and poor mental and physical development in early childhood.

“We urge HHS to maintain coverage of evidence-based essential health benefits, such as maternity coverage and women’s preventive services without cost-sharing, including contraception. We support over-the-counter access to oral contraception without a prescription.

“The AAFP strongly supports the Title X program, the only federal grant program exclusively dedicated to providing low-income and adolescent patients with access to effective family planning and related preventive health services. The health of women is at stake.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Munger, contact Megan Moriarty, 800-274-2237, Ext. 6052, or mmoriarty@aafp.org.

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 134,600 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

To learn more about the AAFP and family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. Follow us on Twitter,(twitter.com) and like us on Facebook. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).