FORCE advocates for families facing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer in areas such as access to care, research funding, insurance, and privacy.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is a panel of experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine which reviews of and develops recommendations on the effectiveness of a broad range of preventive services. The current USPSTF guidelines for Risk Assessment, Genetic Counseling, and Genetic Testing for BRCA-Related Cancer in Women were released in December 2013.
USPSTF guidelines are utilized by health insurers to guide coverage decisions on specific preventive services. Additionally, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), any preventive service receiving a USPSTF rating of “A” or “B” must be covered by most health plans with no copay or cost-sharing. As such, these guidelines impact access to care and insurance coverage of services for members of the hereditary cancer community.
Task Force guidelines are typically reviewed and updated as needed every five years. The USPSTF seeks input on its research plan prior to undertaking this assessment.
FORCE reviewed the draft research plan and submitted comments in April 2017. The draft research plan is focused on "women without preexisting breast or ovarian cancer whose BRCA mutation carrier status is unknown." We are concerned that women who have been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer, and men diagnosed with breast cancer, are absent from the research plan. There is strong evidence that BRCA genetic testing is a preventive measure, even for those already diagnosed with cancer. Learn more by reading about the May 2015 Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) clarification on this issue, and by reviewing our recent comments.