What We're Reading: AMA Rejects ACA Replacement; Pelvic Exam Guidelines; Missouri PDMP Bills

Obamacare Replacement Bill “Not Legislation We Can Support,” Says AMA

The American Medical Association (AMA) has issued a statement indicating that it will refuse to back the American Health Care Act, the replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) presented Tuesday by House Republicans. The physicians’ group acknowledged that the ACA is imperfect, but voiced concerns that the replacement could yank away coverage from up to 10 million Americans and weaken the Medicaid program. “That just won’t do,” said AMA president Andrew W. Gurman, MD, in the statement.

Preventive Services Task Force Can’t Recommend For or Against Pelvic Exams

Clinicians count on the recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to guide their screening practices, but they will find no conclusive answer on the necessity of routine pelvic exams for asymptomatic women. The USPSTF issued a recommendation in JAMA stating there is insufficient evidence to assess the benefits and harms of the screening. It did not consider the financial costs in its recommendation and emphasized that clinicians should take into account each patient’s individual circumstances.

Missouri Lawmakers Considering Rival PDMP Bills

Missouri’s status as the only state without a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) could change soon, reports STAT, but it remains to be seen what that program would look like. State Senator Rob Schaaf has repeatedly filibustered previous PDMP efforts, but has introduced his own bill that would turn prescribing information over to the state health departments, who could then identify “doctor shopping” patterns and notify clinicians. The state legislature is also considering another bill that would establish a PDMP that works like those in other states by allowing medical professionals to directly view a patient’s prescription history.