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Cancer screenings for Medicaid patients miss targets

HealthDay/Washington Post, October 15, 2008
Screening rates for colorectal, breast and cervical cancer among older Medicaid patients are below national objectives, according to a study that looked at 1,951 North Carolina Medicaid recipients aged 50 and older. Documentation that colorectal, breast and cervical cancer screening was recommended by the primary-care provider was found for only 52.7%, 60.4% and 51.5% of eligible patients, respectively, according to the study. "Lack of screening recommendation by the physician, rather than patient refusal of recommended tests, accounted for most instances of screening delinquency," the researchers concluded. "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."