Adolescent Preventive Care After the Affordable Care Act

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After implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), preventive care visits for adolescents increased moderately. But most U.S. adolescents still do not attend doctor “well visits” or receive preventive care.

American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines recommends preventive care services up to age 21, including an annual visit. The ACA requires that most private insurers cover preventive services without a copay, including services recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Comparison of past-year well visits and preventive services received by adolescents before (2007-2009) and after the ACA was implemented (2012-2014) using national survey data collected from adult caregivers (mostly parents) of adolescents.

‘Adolescent preventive care rates remain low, highlighting the need for increased efforts to bring adolescents into well care and improve clinician delivery of preventive care within their practices.’

Annual well-visit rates increased from 41 percent before the ACA to 48 percent after the ACA, with the biggest gains among minority and low-income adolescents; among adolescents who had any past-year health care visit, there were increases of from 2 to 9 percent for 8 of 9 preventive services and results did not change after accounting for demographic factors.

Source: Eurekalert

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