Chlamydia Screening – Valuable but Under-utilized

A leading journal1 has identified chlamydia as one of the most valuable but under-utilized clinical preventive services among those recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

The USPSTF recommends screening for chlamydia in sexually active women age 24 years and younger and in women who are older than 24 if they are at increased risk² of infection.  UW Health’s preventive care clinical practice guideline also includes this recommendation.    

Unfortunately for our patient population, Unity’s Health Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) performance goal of the 90th percentile was not met for chlamydia screening in females ages 16-24.  The measure is based off the percentage of women 16-24 years old who were identified as sexually active and who had at least one test for chlamydia during the measurement year. 

Chlamydia, especially in females, does not usually have any symptoms, so it’s vital that regular screenings occur. Chlamydia, if untreated, can result in serious health concerns, including infertility.

Here are a few tips that can help your patients and your clinic get the needed screenings –

  1. Have the chlamydia swab handy with each pelvic set-up. 
  2. At UW Health, health maintenance alerts for pediatrics was initiated in February 2014. Unity’s Provider Relations Department encourages provider groups to include chlamydia in quality contracts.  Three clinics chose chlamydia screening in their quality contracts. 
  3. Consider doing urine screens for chlamydia when not doing pelvic exams. 

Unity helps with the effort as well. Unity sends two reminders per year to women who have not had a chlamydia screening (the mailing as also sent to clinic managers and practitioners) each Spring and Fall.  Women who turn 18 also receive a young women’s brochure, which includes chlamydia information.   


2. Increased risk for infection include having a new sex partner, more than ​one sex partner, a sex partner with concurrent partners, or a sex partner who has an STI; inconsistent condom use among persons who are not in mutually monogamous relationships; previous or coexisting STI; and exchanging sex for money or drugs. 



Don’t Miss It – the HPV Immunization Toolkit

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has created an HPV immunization toolkit that helps practitioners explain the importance of the HPV vaccine to patients.

The toolkit includes –

  • ACOG’s recommendation
  • FAQ page
  • Provider scripts
  • Coding information
  • Posters
  • VIS statements
  • Standing orders
  • And more!

Access the toolkit here:


If you have coding questions, contact your Provider Coordinator. We’re happy to help.


View List of ​Fall 2016 Unity Communicator Articles