Publication Abstract

Authors: Shih YC, Zhao L, Elting LS

Title: Does Medicare coverage of colonoscopy reduce racial/ethnic disparities in cancer screening among the elderly?

Journal: Health Aff (Millwood) 25(4):1153-62

Date: 2006 Jul-Aug

Abstract: Racial and ethnic disparities in colorectal cancer screening have been documented extensively in the literature. In July 2001 Medicare began covering colonoscopy for average-risk beneficiaries. We examined the effect of Medicare reimbursement on the rate and disparity of colorectal cancer screening among the elderly in the United States. This policy alleviated the screening disparity between non-Hispanic whites and blacks, but the gap between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites has widened. Overall, fewer than half of the elderly are screened, even though Medicare now covers colonoscopy.