Mandated coverage for cancer-screening services: whose guidelines do states follow?
OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence and nature of state coverage mandates for cancer screening. METHODS: We contacted insurance departments in 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico for copies of state codes that mandate coverage of screening for breast, cervical, prostate, and colorectal cancer by private insurers. We further compared mandates, when identified, with American Cancer Society (ACS) and U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines for likely sources of screening recommendations. RESULTS: Forty-three states and the District of Columbia currently mandate coverage of cancer screening. Breast cancer-screening coverage was most frequently mandated (n =44), followed by cervical (n =22), prostate (n =18), and colorectal cancer screening (n =1). Twenty-three states used ACS guidelines only, 18 states used ACS and non-ACS/non-USPSTF guidelines, and 3 states used only non-ACS/non-USPSTF guidelines in development of coverage mandates. No state screening coverage mandate reflected USPSTF-screening guidelines. Of 85 mandates in place, 57 have been passed since 1990. CONCLUSIONS: Although state mandates for insurer coverage of cancer screening are common and increasing, we found noticeable inter- and intra-state variation in coverage, selection, and use of screening guidelines.
Rathore, SS; McGreevey, JD; Schulman, KA; Atkins, D
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