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Medicaid Expansion Tied to Higher Mammography Rates

Last Updated: April 30, 2020.

Total insurance coverage, Medicaid coverage, and mammogram rates are higher among lower-income women living in Medicaid expansion states versus nonexpansion states, according to a study published online April 6 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Total insurance coverage, Medicaid coverage, and mammogram rates are higher among lower-income women living in Medicaid expansion states versus nonexpansion states, according to a study published online April 6 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Yoshiko Toyoda, M.D., from Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues studied the effect of Medicaid expansion on changes in insurance coverage and mammography rates in seven expansion and six nonexpansion states. Data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey were used to determine insurance coverage (2011 to 2016), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (2010 to 2018) was used to determine mammography rates.

The researchers found that the increase in insurance rates for all persons covered by some type of health insurance after Medicaid expansion was significantly different in expansion versus nonexpansion states (P = 0.001). As expected, the increase in Medicaid coverage was significantly higher in expansion versus nonexpansion states (P < 0.001). Similarly, screening mammogram rates among women from low-income households were higher in expansion versus nonexpansion states (P = 0.049).

"Our study demonstrates that people do take advantage of expanded eligibility by acquiring insurance and this can improve access to preventive measures, such as screening mammography," the authors write.

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