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Updating the Women’s Preventive Services’ Guidelines

Women face a number of unique health issues and concerns. To address these, HRSA awarded approximately $950,000 in funding per year for a five-year cooperative agreement with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to develop a collaborative coalition process to review and recommend updates to the current HRSA-supported Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines.

Why Are the Guidelines Being Updated?

The current guidelines were developed in 2011 based on recommendations from an HHS-commissioned study by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), now known as the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

Since then, there have been:

  • Advancements in science and research;
  • Identification of gaps, such as a need for greater emphasis on practice-based clinical considerations.

For these reasons, and to follow the IOM report’s recommendation to update the guidelines at least every five years, HRSA intends to implement a regular process for updating them.

How Will the Updated Guidelines be Developed?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) will convene a coalition of provider, academic, and consumer-focused health professional organizations and conduct a scientifically rigorous review process to recommend updates to the existing guidelines.

This model will create a coalition of health professional organizations with expertise in women’s health across the lifespan to leverage existing partnerships, and facilitate the inclusion of a broad range of expertise.

Public input will be sought by the cooperative agreement awardee for:

  1. defining the scope of the recommended guidelines;
  2. identifying and assessing the evidence base; and
  3. distributing the guidelines.

What are the Goals of the New Cooperative Agreement to Develop Updated Guidelines?

  1. Establish a process for developing and regularly updating guidelines for women’s preventive services.
  2. Obtain participation from health professional organizations on developing recommended guidelines for women’s preventive services.
  3. Review and synthesize existing guidelines and new scientific evidence for women’s preventive services.
  4. Develop recommended comprehensive guidelines for women’s preventive services.
  5. Disseminate HRSA-supported comprehensive guidelines for use in clinical practice.
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