Annual Well Woman ExamOne of my favorite things about working at Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic is that the latest evidence-based recommendations are at the very heart of the services we provide. Practitioners and staff frequently attend conferences and trainings about all aspects of reproductive health care. KBFPC protocols incorporate the most recent guidelines from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). During the last decade, recommendations about frequency and timing of pap tests, clinical breast exams and mammograms have been adjusted frequently, at times becoming headline news. However, changes in recommendations have led to some confusion for many women.

Perhaps the biggest area of confusion is around the recommended frequency for pap smears and the recommended timing for preventative checkups. Many people mistakenly use the words “pap” and “annual” interchangeably, when in fact a pap test is just one aspect of an annual preventive visit, now referred to as Annual Well-Woman Visits. These crucial annual appointments focus on preventive care, and are individualized to an individual’s specific health care needs and concerns. It may include such things as: cervical and breast cancer screening, testing for sexually transmitted infections, contraceptive counseling, preconception counseling, addressing menopause concerns, and answering questions about reproductive and general health.

Many insurance companies fully cover the cost of preventive Well Woman Visits even when the deductible has not been met. If you don’t have insurance coverage, no need to worry: we can help you decide if the Alaska Breast and Cervical Health Check (BCHC) program is an option for you. BCHC covers the entire cost of a Well-Woman Visit pap smear, clinical breast exam, mammogram and also any related diagnostic follow up that is indicated.  For other services we offer sliding scale discounts to income-eligible women.

While all the details may seem ever-changing, there is one constant: Annual Well-Woman Visits are still most effective when scheduled, well, annually.

Call us at 235-3436 to schedule your appointment.
~ Catriona