Well Woman Visits

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grants to States Program has established 15 National Performance Measures for the 2015-2017 grant cycle. Performance Measure 1 is the percent of women who have had a preventive health visit in the past year. This evidence brief points to a selection of resources for state MCH programs on annual preventive care visits for well women, with an emphasis on evidence-based information.


The Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant to States Program guidance1 defines the significance of this goal as follows:

A well-woman or preconception visit provides a critical opportunity to receive recommended clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling, and immunizations, which can lead to appropriate identification, treatment, and prevention of disease to optimize the health of women before, between, and beyond potential pregnancies. For example, screening and management of chronic conditions such as diabetes, and counseling to achieve a healthy weight and smoking cessation, can be advanced within a well woman visit to promote women's health prior to and between pregnancies and improve subsequent maternal and perinatal outcomes. The annual well-woman visit has been endorsed by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) and was also identified among the women's preventive services required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to be covered by private insurance plans without cost-sharing.

Read More about Performance Measure 1

Performance Measure 1

Percent of women with a past year preventive visit


To increase the number of women who have a preventive visit


Numerator: Women who reported having a routine check-up in the last year

Denominator: Women, ages 18-44

Units: 100

Text: Percent

Healthy People 2020 Objectives

Related to Access to Health Services Developmental Objective 7.0: Increase the proportion of persons who receive appropriate clinical preventive services.

Related to Maternal, Infant, and Child Health Developmental Objective 16.1: Increase the percentage of women delivering a live birth who discussed preconception health with a health care worker prior to pregnancy.

Data Sources and Data Issues

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Data and Statistics

Key Websites

Policy Recommendations


Further Reading

Related NCEMCH Resources

1 Health Resources and Services Administration. 2014. Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant to States Program: Guidance and Forms for the Title V Application/Annual Report, Appendix F, p. 74.

Well Woman Visits: Evidence Brief, 1st ed. (November 2014). Author: Beth DeFrancis, M.L.S., NCEMCH