This isn't good. According to a new study in North Carolina, only about half of older Medicaid recipients are receiving screening tests for colorectal, breast and cervical cancer. Being the largest provider of health insurance for minority populations, all older recipients should be getting the recommended screenings for folks their age.
C. Annette DuBard, M.D., M.P.H., of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, led the study. Because Medicaid recipients are covered for cancer screenings under Medicaid, she found that this is the primary reason why the screenings weren't actually happening:
"Lack of a screening recommendation by the physician, rather than patient refusal of recommended tests, accounted for most instances of screening delinquency . . . Efforts to increase cancer screening rates among Medicaid recipients must address patient, physician and organizational barriers to the routine identification and delivery of preventive services."
While this research was only done in North Carolina, can we predict that the same is happening for the rest of the Medicaid recipients in the country?