The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force yesterday released for comment a draft recommendation that primary care clinicians screen all adults for illicit drug use, including nonmedical prescription drug use. The task force assigned the proposal a “B” grade, concluding that screening has moderate net benefit when services for accurate diagnosis of unhealthy drug use or drug use disorders, effective treatment, and appropriate care can be offered or referred. Under the Affordable Care Act, all copays and deductibles are waived for services receiving a task force grade of A or B. About 1 in 10 U.S. adults use illicit drugs, the task force notes. “Clinicians can help by screening their adult patients and connecting people who use illicit drugs to the care they need to get better,” said Task Force Co-Vice Chair Karina Davidson. The panel found insufficient evidence to recommend for or against screening adolescents aged 12-17. Public comments on the draft recommendation are due Sept. 9.
 

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