AAFP Joins Other Groups to Develop Well-Woman Resource

Tool Recaps Age-based Preventive Care Recommendations

December 06, 2018 02:59 pm Chris Crawford

The Women's Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI) from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has created a chart(www.womenspreventivehealth.org) summarizing age-based preventive services recommendations for women from adolescence to maturity that physicians can use during well-woman visits.

[female physician with patient and tablet computer]

WPSI's well-woman chart recaps preventive care recommendations developed by WPSI, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP's) Bright Futures program. It offers clinical summary tables for each recommendation, which provide additional information, including references, for those recommendations.

WPSI is overseen by an advisory panel that includes representatives from ACOG, AAFP, the American College of Physicians and the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health. Family physician Daniel Frayne, M.D., of Asheville, N.C., has been an integral member of WPSI's implementation steering committee, which helps drive the group's work.

Frayne, who practices at the Mountain Area Health Education Center, told AAFP News the new well-woman chart breaks out specific recommendations for women during pregnancy and the postpartum period and includes information for women at any stage of life.

"Mainly, the well-woman chart is an added resource to currently known recommendations," Frayne said. "It might be best used to create systems to achieve best-practice recommendations. It also will be helpful in engaging and educating our patients as to what they should expect and ask for from their health care professional."

Additionally, the group created a frequently asked questions document(www.womenspreventivehealth.org) that defines well-woman visits; describes how the chart can be used during these visits; and answers related questions, such as about resources to aid physicians in coding and billing for the services.

"Based on lessons learned from the AAP's Bright Futures, another companion resource is being created to provide guidance on implementation, screening tools, priority setting, shared decision-making, and coding and billing guides," Frayne said.

WPSI Background

ACOG created WPSI in 2016 as part of a cooperative agreement with HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Since then, WPSI has worked with a wide-ranging coalition of national health professional organizations and consumer and patient advocates with expertise in women's health across the lifespan to develop, review and update recommendations for women's preventive health care services.

Once adopted by HRSA, the recommendations will help ensure that women receive a comprehensive set of preventive services without copayment, coinsurance or deductible, the group's website said.

According to Frayne, WPSI aims to meet a continuing need for clarity regarding women's preventive health -- specifically, what should be covered/addressed at the annual well-woman visit.

"It has been recognized for some time that there are gaps that currently exist in the recommendations for women's preventive health care and physicians/clinics are not always routinely fulfilling the best practices," he said.

"Bright Futures has recommendations for adolescent women, and USPSTF has recommendations for prevention in all age groups; WPSI brings these together in a periodicity table and gives guidance as to the state of the evidence for any specific recommendation," Frayne explained.

Spread the Word

To assist health care organizations and their members with getting the word out about WPSI's well-woman chart, the group created a social media kit(www.womenspreventivehealth.org) that includes hashtags, key messages and sharable graphics.

In closing, Frayne said it was important that ACOG and WPSI included other specialty organizations that care for women, such as the AAFP, in creating these resources.

"They were really focused on broad involvement and consensus," he said. "This is a great example of cross-specialty collaboration."

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