09 Jan ACA: Screening Disparities Fall For Mammograms But Not Colonoscopies
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Gregory Cooper, MD
Program Director, Gastroenterology
UH Cleveland Medical Center
Co-Program Leader for Cancer Prevention and Control, UH Cleveland Medical Center
Professor, Medicine, CWRU School of Medicine
Co-Program Leader for Cancer Prevention and Control
UH Seidman Cancer Center
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The Affordable Care Act, among other features, removed out of pocket expenses for approved preventive services, and this may have served as a barrier to cancer screening in socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals. If so, then the gap in screening between socioeconomic groups should narrow following the ACA.
The main findings of the study were that although in the pre-ACA era, there were disparities in screening, they narrowed only for mammography and not colonoscopy.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Financial barriers do exist but reduction or elimination may not be the only solution to increasing uptake, especially for procedures that are more involved such as colonoscopy.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: We would recommend looking at other patient groups such as privately insured and also specifically at minority populations. It would also be informative to survey patients to determine to what degree out of pocket expenses hindered their use of these procedures.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: The future of the ACA is uncertain and if it is dismantled, it is not known if benefits such as preventive care will be maintained. Our study does support, at least for mammography, the value of eliminating financial barriers to care.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Cancer Preventive Services, Socioeconomic Status and the Affordable Care Act.” Gregory S. Cooper, Tzuyung Doug Kou, Avi Dor, Siran M Koroukian, Mark D Schluchter. Cancer; Published Online: January 9, 2017 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.30476
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