Navigation Links
Prenatal syphilis screening rates: Are they being accurately reported?

INDIANAPOLIS Prenatal syphilis screening, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, medical professional organizations, and public health authorities, is critical to preventing still births and serious birth defects in babies of affected mothers. A study published in the April issue of the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases reports that state Medicaid statistics, when used to determine screening rates, may seriously underestimate the number of expectant mothers being screened for syphilis.

Researchers led by Marc Rosenman, M.D., of the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute compared four years of Medicaid data from the state of Indiana with data from the Regenstrief Medical Record System (RMRS) for women seen in Wishard Health Services. Of the nearly 4,000 women with both Medicaid and RMRS data, only half had evidence of prenatal syphilis screening recorded in Medicaid claims data, while more than 99 percent had at least one laboratory report of syphilis screening recorded in the RMRS, indicating that Medicaid numbers were missing nearly half the women screened.

What our study points out is that analyses based on Medicaid data might not tell the whole story. And this problem is not unique to Indiana. Our findings add perspective to a CDC-funded study of Florida Medicaid data which reported a prenatal syphilis screening rate of about 50 percent, a rate very similar to what we found in Indiana Medicaid data, said Dr. Rosenman, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine and a research scientist at the Regenstrief Institute.

Why are Medicaid data incomplete? Reasons may vary from how the test is billed to how data are transmitted from a physicians office, clinic or hospital to a state agency.

Prenatal syphilis screening is a vital step in preventing serious illness. The nearly universal prenatal screening we report is not necessarily typical of other health systems across the state and nation, for a variety of reasons including that this study was conducted at a large public teaching hospital and began during a major syphilis outbreak in Indianapolis in 1998-1999, and since then physicians, health systems, and the county health department have probably all been extra conscientious in encouraging screening. But what is clear is that Medicaid data by far underestimate how much screening is taking place, said Dr. Rosenman. The same is probably true of other published estimates based on commercial insurance data.

Syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease, is on the increase in the United States. A simple blood test is used to screen for the disease. An at-risk woman should be screened for syphilis multiple times during her pregnancy including immediately prior to delivery.


Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
Indiana University

Related medicine news :

1. Prenatal exposure to maternal antibodies linked to autistic behaviors in offspring
2. Mission Pharmacal Launches CitraNatal(TM) Prescription Prenatal Vitamin Line
3. Toward a faster prenatal test for Down syndrome
4. U.S. Syphilis Rate Grows for 7th Year in Row
5. Columbus Carried Syphilis From New World to Europe, Study Suggests
6. Boston Kids Enjoy Free Davis Vision Screenings
7. Cellectricon Launches Worlds First System for High Throughput RNAi Screening
8. Video: Walgreens to Provide $35 Million in Free Health Screenings with The Take Care Health Tour
9. Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Turns Awareness Into Action as it Declares First-Of-Its-Kind National DVT Screening Day
10. Evanston-Northwestern Study Proves Effectiveness of MRSA Screening to Reduce Hospital Infections
11. Fifty-Plus Community Leaders and Local Celebrities Declare Their Support for Colon-Cancer Screening Awareness Initiative
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, ... Medicine tests directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... PRMA Plastic Surgery is ... 2015, our surgeons performed their 6,000th free flap breast reconstruction surgery! , “What an ... every day excited to rebuild lives and it’s an honor to have served all ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the ... to improve system efficiency and reliability. , The new Q-Suite 6 platform is based ... system avoids locking itself into a specific piece of software for many key components ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... Finnleo, a leader in the traditional and far-infrared sauna industry, announced ... saunas. , For traditional saunas, Finnleo is offering 20% off all ... Finnleo uses only European Grade A Nordic White Spruce from sustainably grown trees. Because ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... Ministers, senior government and UN agencies, ... Centres of Excellence, and public R&D institutions, civil societies and other partners gathered ... 5th African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation, ANDI, Stakeholders Meeting. The three- ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ... Surface Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Competitive ... offering.  --> ) ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ... Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, ... Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ) ... "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type (Reagents & Kits, ... Clinical Diagnostic Labs), Application (Research, Clinical Diagnostics), ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: