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Preventive health screening for low-income women: better or worse under new health care reform?

When enacted its own statewide in 2006, low-income women transitioned from receiving free, federally subsidized screening for breast and cervical cancer and cardiovascular disease risk to an insurance-based payment system. The effects on screening rates in this vulnerable population are explored in Journal of Women’s Health, a peer-reviewed publication from , , publishers. The article is available on the Journal of Women’s Health website.

A group of authors from Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and several women’s health centers and community hospitals in Boston, MA gathered data to evaluate whether the prevalence of screening mammography, Pap smear, and blood pressure measurement improved, stayed the same, or declined pre- and post-health insurance reform. In the article “Preventive Care for Low-Income Women in Massachusetts Post-,” the authors reviewed screening information for women treated at five community health centers between 2004 and 2010, spanning the period before and after the introduction of .

“There are lessons learned from the Massachusetts experience of that can help inform health care changes nationally,” says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women’s Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women’s Health.


Preventive Care for Low-Income Women in Massachusetts Post-Health Reform ClarkCheryl R., Soukup Jane, Riden Heather, Tovar Dora, Orton Piper, Burdick Elisabeth, Capistran Mary Ellen, Morisset Jennifer, Browne Elizabeth E., Fitzmaurice Garrett, and Johnson Paula A. Journal of Women’s Health. doi:10.1089/jwh.2013.4612.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News