Sharada Weir,¹ Heather E. Posner,¹ Jianying Zhang,¹ Whitney C. Jones,² Georgianna Willis,¹ Jeffrey D. Baxter,¹ and Robin E. Clark¹
¹Center for Health Policy and Research, University of Massachusetts Medical School ²Department of Health & Behavioral Sciences, University of Colorado Denver
Objective: Examine disparities in routine mammography for women who qualify for Medicaid, because of a work-limiting disability. Methods: Individual-level data were obtained for women enrolled in Massachusetts Medicaid Managed Care plans who met the 2007 Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) criteria for the breast cancer screening measure (n=35,171). Disability status was determined from Medicaid eligibility records. Mammography screening was modeled using multivariate logistic regression. Separate models for women with and without a disability were also estimated. Results: Although unadjusted breast cancer screening rates were roughly equal for women with and without disability, after adjusting for confounders disability status had a significant negative association with screening mammography (OR=0.74; p<0.0001). Living farther from a mammography facility or having a diagnosis of domestic violence reduced the odds of screening for women with disabilities, but not for other women. Having a higher illness burden was more detrimental to screening for women with a disability than for those without. Both groups benefited similarly from the first 26 ambulatory care visits, but the impact of additional visits on screening was much larger among women with disabilities. Conclusion: Nationwide, rates of routine mammography for Medicaid managed care plans averaged below 50% in 2006. Given that a majority of eligible women served by Medicaid have disabilities, and studies have shown that women with disabilities are more likely to be diagnosed with late stage disease, a focus on improving rates of screening for women with disabilities is overdue.
Keywords: Disability, Breast Cancer, Routine Mammography, and Medicaid