Rate Of Women Getting Mammography Screenings Stalls; Colorectal Cancer Screenings Remain Underused By Medicare PatientsThe New York Times: "One-fifth of American women ages 50 to 74 have fallen behind on mammography screenings for breast cancer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reporting. Although the percentage of women in this age group who get a regular breast cancer screening every two years increased steadily during the 1990s, the rate has remained just over 80 percent since 2000, according to the centers' Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report is based on data collected from surveys given to 120,095 women in that age range. Black women were found as likely as white women to have had a recent mammogram, with rates for both groups at just over 80 percent. But only 70 percent of Native American women said they had been screened recently. Uninsured women were among those least likely to have been screened: only 56.3 percent" (Rabin, 7/19).
Medscape: "Despite expansion of Medicare coverage, colorectal cancer (CRC) screening remains underused for a variety of reasons, including lack of supplemental health insurance and a usual place of healthcare, according to new research published in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine." The research examined the possible effects associated with Medicare's 2001 policy change on CRC screening to include reimbursement for screening colonoscopy for those at average risk as defined by national guidelines and examined whether that change "reduced disparities associated with the type of health insurance coverage, income, or usual place of care" (Lowry, 7/19). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.