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January 2018

Ensuring Access to Preventive Services for Adolescents: Historical Roots, Current Progress, and Future Challenges

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Adolescent Health & the Law, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • 2National Health Law Program, Carrboro, North Carolina
JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(1):12-14. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.3544

The value of preventive health services for adolescents is supported by a strong evidence base1 and broad professional consensus.2 These services play an important role in addressing preventable causes of morbidity and mortality in the adolescent years: substance use, obesity, sexually transmitted infections and other sexual health issues, motor vehicle crashes, violence, and suicide.3 Public and private insurance coverage for preventive health care exists as a result of requirements in Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Nevertheless, adolescents receive preventive services at low levels, despite some recent noteworthy increases.4

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