August 29, 2011 - “Medicare panel advises coverage for STD tests, counseling,” by Bill Toland, examines the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposal that STD screening should be covered under Medicare parts A and B because detection can help to save costs and lives. “…Susan Maloney, a managing senior fellow and program officer at the Partnership for Prevention, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that advocates for preventive screenings” pointed out that undiagnosed STDs may lead to serious health issues. Chronic viral hepatitis is linked to liver cancer; and human papilloma virus, known as HPV, is an established cause of cervical cancer in women and is being investigated as a culprit for oral and anal cancers as well. Chlamydia and gonorrhea, untreated, may result in infertility in both women and men. The recommended screening and counseling services and immunizations can prevent some of these serious health consequences. “‘That's why the screenings are important,’ she said, not just because of the infections themselves, but because of what the infections can lead to.”
CMS also invites public comments on proposed coverage for preventive services to prevent cardiovascular disease and screening for depression and alcohol problems.
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