CRC screening on the rise, but insurance is key

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Takeaway

  • The use of recommendation-consistent colorectal cancer (CRC) screenings in the United States increased from 51.6% in 2008 to 61.3% in 2015.
  • Those with Medicaid or no insurance were significantly less likely to receive recommendation-consistent CRC screening than those with insurance through their employer, Medicare, or the military.

Why this matters

  • Whether recent expansion of healthcare coverage had affected CRC screening usage was unknown.

Study design

  • CRC screening reports from the National Health Interview Survey.
  • Funding not disclosed.

Key results

  • CRC screening increased from 51.6% in 2008 to 61.3% in 2015 (P<.05>
  • CRC screening rates were highest among adults aged 50-64 years with military coverage (73.4%), adults aged 65-75 years overall (71.7%), and among those with Medicare and supplemental private insurance (76.3%).
  • Adults aged 50-64 years who were uninsured had the lowest CRC screening rates (24.8%), followed by those who lacked a usual place of care (27.6%) and those who had not seen a physician in the previous year (28.6%).
  • Adults aged 50-64 years with Medicaid (47.4%; 95% CI, 43.3%-51.6%) or who were uninsured (24.8%; 95% CI, 20.7%-29.5%) were significantly less likely to receive CRC screenings than those with insurance through their employer, Medicare, or military insurance.

Limitations

  • CRC screening self-reported.