Background: Relatively little is known about factors that predict ongoing participation in mammography screening at regular intervals. Members of managed care plans have access to this preventive service; yet, many still do not receive it routinely.
Methods: Using administrative data from HIP Health Plan of New York, a group model HMO, 24,215 women ages 50-80 years identified as having a screening mammogram during the baseline period were followed for 2 years to determine demographic and utilization factors that might be related to having a subsequent mammogram within the recommended time interval.
Results: Of the 24,215 women with an index mammogram, 71.8;pc had a subsequent screening mammogram within 2 years. Women ages 65-74 years and those with Medicare coverage had the highest mammogram rates among the age and coverage categories. Number of primary care and gynecology physician visits was strongly related to having a subsequent mammogram. The average (mean) time between index and subsequent mammogram was 14.4 months.
Conclusion: The significance of health plan visits in subsequent mammography underscores the importance of physician-patient communication in a managed care plan and the integration of health plan members into the HMO delivery system. Even in this environment with equal access for all types of coverage, Medicaid members were less likely to receive this preventive service.
Copyright 2001 American Health Foundation and Elsevier Science.