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Many Insured U.S. Adults Are Not Receiving Preventive Care — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
August 8, 2014

Many Insured U.S. Adults Are Not Receiving Preventive Care

By Cara Adler

Edited by André Sofair, MD, MPH, and William E. Chavey, MD, MS

At least one in three U.S. adults does not receive recommended preventive care, regardless of insurance status or income, according to an MMWR study.

CDC researchers analyzed 2011-2012 National Health Interview Survey data, with a focus on six preventive services recommended by U.S. health agencies: HIV testing; discussion about smoking cessation; and influenza, pneumococcal, tetanus, and zoster vaccinations.

The percentage of adults who received these services ranged from 18% for zoster vaccination to 62% for tetanus vaccination. Adults with insurance and those with higher incomes (>200% of the federal poverty level) were more likely to receive all services except HIV testing, compared with those without insurance and those with lower incomes. However, even among adults with insurance and higher incomes, fewer than half received three of the services (HIV testing, influenza vaccination, and zoster vaccination).

Noting that these six services are covered by the Affordable Care Act, the authors conclude these findings suggest that "additional efforts beyond insurance coverage expansion might be needed to increase offering and use of services."

Reader Comments (1)

SHELDON BALL Physician, Geriatrics, Anvita Health

Step #2. Determine whether life expectancy and health care costs are different in those that do not receive recommended preventive care stratified by health care coverage and income status.

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