Disparities Despite Coverage

Gaps in Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Medicare Beneficiaries

Oct. 10, 2005
Archives of Internal Medicine , Vol. 165 (Oct. 10, 2005)
Ann S. O'Malley, Christopher B. Forrest, Shibao Feng, Jeanne Mandelblatt

Despite its effectiveness in reducing mortality, colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates are low, especially among low-income and minority groups; however, physician recommendation can increase screening rates. Racial differences in CRC screening rates among Medicare beneficiaries with a usual physician are explained by differences in socioeconomic status. Beneficiaries with a primary care generalist as their usual physician had higher rates of CRC screening receipt. Increased efforts to make Medicare beneficiaries aware of the benefits of CRC screening may capitalize on the associations found in this study between CRC knowledge, physician information giving, and timely screening.

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