Navigation Links
Colorectal cancer screening rates on rise among Medicare beneficiaries due to expansion of coverage

HOUSTON (May 2, 2011) Colorectal cancer screening rates increased for Medicare beneficiaries when coverage was expanded to average-risk individuals, but racial disparities still exist, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

"Despite the expansion of Medicare coverage for colorectal cancer screening, disparities persisted among the ethnic groups we examined," said Arica White, Ph.D., M.P.H., former doctoral student at The University of Texas School of Public Health, part of UTHealth. In 1998, Medicare began covering fecal occult blood test (FOBT) annually and sigmoidoscopy coverage every 4 years for average-risk beneficiaries and in July 2001 coverage was expanded to include colonoscopy for average-risk beneficiaries every 10 years.

The research is published in the May issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

"Screening rates are significantly lower among racial/ethnic minorities and this study tells us expansion in screening coverage does not necessarily lead to reduction or elimination of disparities among ethnic populations," said White. Researchers found Hispanics were less likely to receive screening after colonoscopy coverage was expanded, and blacks were less likely than whites to get screened during the periods prior to FOBT coverage, during FOBT coverage-only and after colonoscopy coverage, according to the study. White believes this is the first study to use Medicare claims data to examine the impact of the change in Medicare policy on disparities in guideline-specific colorectal cancer screening from prior to FOBT coverage to after colonoscopy coverage.

Differences in screening rates may be attributed to differences in socioeconomic status, health beliefs and health education as well as healthcare access. "These differences should not exist within a population that is universally insured," said White. "We need to identify and address the barriers which are causing these disparities in screening rates among the Medicare population."

In 2005, only 50 percent of U.S. adults age 50 years or older reported having a fecal occult blood test within the past year and/or an endoscopy within the past 10 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health Interview Survey. "Many people age 65 years and older who are at risk of developing the disease are not getting screened even though they have access to screening services through Medicare," said White.

Colorectal cancer is the third most frequently diagnosed non-skin cancer in men and women in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). The risk of developing colorectal cancer is slightly higher in men than in women and it is estimated that more than 50,000 Americans will die from the disease this year. Regular colorectal cancer screening or testing is recommended by the ACS as the most important way to prevent the disease. However, despite these national recommendations, prevention and early detection, screening rates remain low.

"There needs to be more emphasis on evidence-based strategies to continue to increase colorectal cancer screening rates among all Medicare beneficiaries," said White. She believes if there continues to be an increase in screening rates it is possible to attain the Healthy People 2020 goals and objectives of increasing colorectal cancer screening and eliminating racial disparities for some racial/ethnic groups.

White is currently an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Contact: Jade Waddy
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Related medicine news :

1. The Right Colorectal Cancer Test for the Right Patient
2. Life Line Screening Offers Special Pricing on Colorectal Home Test Kits in Honor of National Colorectal Cancer Month
3. A new indicator of poor prognosis in node-negative colorectal cancer patients
4. Physicians come together on National Colorectal Cancer Awareness and Screening Day
5. High weight associated with risk of colorectal tumors without microsatellite instability
6. New study implicates health care utilization, over biology, in colorectal cancer disparities
7. Leukemia-related protein 16 and colorectal carcinoma
8. Hispanics live in areas with limited capacity for colorectal cancer screening
9. UAB researchers find 4 biomarkers important in colorectal cancer treatment prognosis
10. Association of fiber and colorectal cancer risk differs depending on dietary assessment method
11. Researchers show that nitric oxide-donating naproxen can boost colorectal cancer prevention
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... Shelton, CT (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... and long-term care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of ... Department, Shelton Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, has released a ... books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation paints a picture of ... have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins says that is because ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions ... Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will ... during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual ... F. Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at ... D.C., for the 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology ... the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... Texas , Oct. 11, 2017  Caris Life ... focused on fulfilling the promise of precision medicine, today ... has joined Caris, Precision Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as its ... cancer centers, the St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute will ... advance the use of tumor profiling, making cancer treatment ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 2017   West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: ... drug administration, today shared the results of a study ... the intradermal administration of polio vaccines. The study results ... May 2017 by Dr. Ondrej Mach , Clinical ... Organization (WHO), and recently published in the journal ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  According to the Centers for Disease Control ... of October . PhysicianOne Urgent Care is helping communities across ... NY , by offering no-cost* flu shots through the end of ... by certain health insurance regulations. ... best time to get a flu shot is by the end of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: