Primary Care Providers Ordered Fewer Preventive Services For Women With Medicaid Than For Women With Private Coverage
Author: Stacey McMorrow, Sharon K. Long, Ariel Fogel
As the number of beneficiaries in the Medicaid program grows under the Affordable Care Act, with over half of the states opting to expand Medicaid eligibility, it is important to understand more about the care provided to Medicaid patients. Using visit-level data for 2006–10 from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, we examined the provision of recommended preventive services to women with Medicaid and those with private insurance at visits to primary care providers in private office-based practices. We found that after patient and provider characteristics were controlled for, Medicaid-insured visits were less likely than privately insured visits to include several preventive services, including clinical breast exams and Pap tests. The differences in provision of services by payer were generally driven by the differences in care at visits classified as preventive and at visits to obstetrician-gynecologists. Further investigation is required to determine what may be driving the differences in content of care across payers and their implications for quality of care.