December 02, 2016
This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing examining the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) where witnesses discussed ways to improve oversight of the Task Force, including a bill (H.R. 1151) that would create an advisory board to ensure patient groups, providers, and federal agencies are involved with Task Force decisions. Under the ACA, employer health plans are required to provide access to an ever increasing and evolving list of USPSTF recommendations on preventive care services at no in-network cost to employees. HR Policy Vice President Mark Wilson submitted a statement strongly urging policymakers "to carefully consider any changes to how the USPSTF operates and how these changes may adversely impact employers and broader health care reform efforts." Mr. Wilson also noted the USPSTF mandate is fundamentally inconsistent with the House's health care reform goals, including expanding consumer-driven health, and called on Congress to "repeal the USPSTF mandate on employers in the ACA and return the Task Force to its traditional role of making clinical recommendations to health care providers." According to a study by the American Health Policy Institute, the USPSTF mandate will cost some large employers $25 million to $36 million from 2014 to 2023. Just this week, the USPSTF issued a new recommendation on the use of statin drugs for adults that employers will have to now provide first dollar coverage for, which makes the eighth Task Force recommendation in 2016. There are eight more recommendations in the final stage of development.