Rates of breast cancer screening improved among rural, working-age women following the elimination of cost sharing, a recent study found. The elimination of cost sharing as a natural experiment was evaluated and trends were compared in screening before and after the policy change. Researchers found:
- 45,738 US women were enrolled in the study for an average of 6.1 years.
- Between 1998 and 2011, the annual screening rate increased from 35% to a peak of 50% among women aged 40 to 49 years and from 49% to 58% among women aged 50 to 64 years.
- Biennial screening rate increased from 56% to 66% for women aged 40 to 49 years and from 68% to 73% for those aged 50 to 64 years.
- Younger women experienced greater increased in both annual screening (6.2%) and biennial screening (5.6%) after the eliminated of cost sharing compared to older women.
Peppercorn J, Horick N, Houck K, et al. Impact of the elimination of cost sharing for mammographic breast cancer screening among rural US women: A natural experiment. [Published online ahead of print February 14, 2017]. Cancer. doi:10.1002/cncr.30629.