Thursday, January 14, 2010

Partnership for Prevention sent a letter to congressional negotiators on the health reform bill urging them to maintain the independence and expertise of the federal task forces for clinical and community prevention services. The House and Senate bills both have provisions that would change the role and structure of the US Preventive Services Task Force and the Community Preventive Services Task Force.

"It is vital that  each body continue to offer unbiased, objective recommendations that can inform physicians, public health officials, and other health professionals about the quality of evidence of clinical and community services," Partnership President/CEO Robert J. Gould wrote Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Sen. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.

"...To maintain this scientific independence, it is absolutely essential that task force members have the necessary training and expertise to fulfill their primary responsibility: the review of scientific evidence related to the effectiveness of clinical and community preventive services and applying this evidence to decision-making.

"Any other qualifications for appointment, such as expertise in employer health or school health or clinical experience, should be a supplemental qualification and not an alternative..." he concluded.


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