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Rush, Roe, Chu, and Dunn Introduce USPSTF Transparency & Accountability Act

7/17/2019, noon | Updated on 7/17/2019, noon
U.S. Representatives Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), and Neal P. Dunn (R-Fla.) recently introduced H.R. ...
U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-IL)

Rush, Roe, Chu, and Dunn Introduce USPSTF Transparency & Accountability Act

U.S. Representatives Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), and Neal P. Dunn (R-Fla.) recently introduced H.R. 3534, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Transparency and Accountability Act. This bipartisan legislation would require more transparent practices by the USPSTF.

According to a press release, currently, the USPSTF (the Task Force) has little accountability. Task Force members — who are appointed by the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) — do not meet with relevant stakeholders during their review process. Additionally, medical specialists in the subject under review do not serve on the Task Force. This leads to recommendations that are not based on the best evidence available, the press release reported.

This bill would reform the Task Force by requiring it to:

  1. Publish research plans to guide its review of scientific evidence relating to the effectiveness of preventive services;

  2. Make evidence-based reviews and recommendations available for public comment; and

  3. Convene a preventive services advisory board made up of patient groups, community-based providers, and specialty physicians to provide feedback on Task Force activities and recommend preventive services and scientific evidence for the Task Force to review.

“This important legislation will bring transparency and specialist input to the USPSTF’s current process. It is critical that we make needed reforms to the process to ensure that the recommended preventive services are based on the best scientific evidence available,” said Rush. “I am pleased to work with Representatives Roe, Chu, and Dunn on these changes to ensure that life-saving preventive services are accessible and affordable for patients.”

The USPSTF was created in 1984 as a panel of experts tasked with making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications. Its role on patient care has changed in recent years because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) linked its recommendations to insurance coverage. As a result, the Task Force now determines which preventive services health plans must provide without enrollee cost sharing obligations.