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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC, Others File Amicus Brief Urging Stay to Protect Access to Preventive Services

    Gayle Lee, Director, Physician Payment & Quality
    For Media Inquiries

    The AAMC on May 4 joined the American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, and America’s Essential Hospitals to file an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, supporting the federal government’s request for the court to grant a partial stay of the District Court’s judgment in Braidwood Management Inc. v. Becerra. The judgment jeopardizes coverage of preventive services, and a stay would prevent unnecessary disruptions to care while the case is appealed.  

    On March 30, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor of the District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a judgment in Braidwood Management Inc. v Becerra invalidating a requirement in the Affordable Care Act that insurers cover all preventive services granted an “A” or “B” rating by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force without cost sharing. Under the ruling, plans would no longer be required to provide coverage for preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV and other preventive services, such as screenings for breast and lung cancer, cervical cancer, and certain colonoscopies. [refer to Washington Highlights, April 7]. On March 31, the federal government filed a notice of appeal to the 5th Circuit, and on April 27, filed a motion for a partial stay to prevent the ruling from taking effect while the appeal is pending.  

    The amicus brief states that “upending coverage of preventive-care services will increase the risk that acute illnesses or chronic diseases will not be timely detected or treated” and that “ACA’s preventive-care coverage requirement saves lives and improves population health, saving the public costs in the long-term. Maintaining these benefits pending appeal is therefore in the public interest.” It further emphasizes that “preventive care recommendations should be based on medical evidence, not political considerations.”   

    The government requested a ruling on its stay motion by May 18.