At the national headquarters of our organization, we routinely have college interns interested in health care services or health care communications assist us with projects to witness and learn firsthand what a career feels like in the health care sector. Thus summer, we have Megan, a May graduate from the College of Charleston and major in biology. She is applying to the accelerated BSN program in the School of Nursing at the Medical University of South Carolina for enrollment this winter. We shared with her the recent ACOG recommendations in light of legislation under the Affordable Care Act cleared recently by the U. S. Supreme Court for implementation. Here’s what Megan wants to share with you and I’ve given over my column space to let her share her thoughts with you. Let her know what you think.
Nancy Muller, PhD
Some women may have breathed a sigh of relief when they heard recently they are no longer expected to get a yearly pap smear to screen for cervical cancer. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women 21 and older receive their annual wellness exam, including a pelvic exam, breast exam, blood pressure screening, STI screenings, and information on healthy lifestyles. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance providers and Medicaid are required to cover clinical preventative services for all women, including pre-natal care, without charging “co-pays”, co-insurance or deductibles. Under the new guidelines, millions of women will gain access to health care services without obstacles, including well-woman preventative care visits and screenings for gestational diabetes and sexually transmitted infections (STI). So this means no more paying for your annual OBGYN exam, certain prescription contraceptives, STI tests, pap smears etc. “This will provide an extraordinary opportunity to improve women’s health not only during pregnancy but before, between and beyond pregnancy, and across the life course,” said Dr. Michael C. Lu, the associate administrator of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This wellness exam isn’t just about your female organs. It includes your bladder too – which men have as well. When it comes to your bladder health, there are a few things that need to be discussed. Your doctor should be told about pain upon urination or sexual intimacy, groin pain, recurrent urgency and frequency of urination, weekly signs of leaking urine when sneezing, running, lifting heavy objects, laughing, or coughing, and getting up more than once nightly to urinate. The bottom line is that the door is open for dialogue with this new legislative coverage and ACOG recommendations in place: it is up to you to use it to take advantage of it in taking care of your personal health care needs.
Published On: August 26, 2012