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Research: Medicaid Enrollees More Likely To Get Cancer Screenings In States With Higher Reimbursements

Published: Monday, September 1, 2014 - 12:18pm
Updated: Monday, September 1, 2014 - 4:15pm

New research suggests Medicaid enrollees are more likely to be screened for certain types of cancer in states that have higher reimbursement rates for office visits. The study published in the American Cancer Society’s journal, “Cancer,” shows getting patients into primary care increased their chances of being screened for cervical, colorectal and breast cancer regardless of the reimbursement rates for those screenings.

"There’s this need for the Medicaid beneficiaries to really be able to access primary care services in order to get screenings and other needed care," said Michael Halpern, a Health Services Researcher at the U of A College of Public Health, and one of the report’s authors.

Halpern says patients who can’t get in to see a primary care physician will often either not go to a doctor, or go to the emergency room. He says ERs are very good at treating acute problems, but generally don’t refer people for preventive care.