Good afternoon, readers.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force—somewhat more simply known as the USPSTF—is a pretty influential part of the Department of the Health and Human Services (HHS).
The independent panel has the power to advise on exactly what medical services are critical to provide to the general public, or which services doctors should generally be expected to give—and, under the Affordable Care Act, the group’s recommendations could potentially become services which must be covered by insurance for free or minimal out-of-pocket payments.
Well, the USPSTF has a new recommendation for doctors across the country: Screen every adult patient for illicit drug use as part of a crackdown on the opioid crisis.
Drug overdose deaths dropped for the first time since 1990 last year, according to government data. But the opioid overdose epidemic is far from over. And even this latest screening recommendation doesn’t encompass all potential patients, including teenagers.
Read on for the day’s news.