Utilization and cost sharing for preventive cancer screenings

Nicholas Jennings, David O. Garcia, Howard Eng, Elizabeth Calhoun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) eliminated cost sharing for certain preventive cancer screenings beginning in September 2010. This paper examines the policy change's impact on three preventive screenings, mammography, colonoscopy, and cervical screening, among commercially insured individuals. Methods: A retrospective longitudinal quasi-experimental design was utilized. Individuals in grandfathered plans were used as a comparison group because grandfathered plans are not subject to the preventive cost sharing benefit changes of the ACA. A multivariate logistic regression model matched individuals in treatment and comparison groups via propensity scoring. Monthly prevalence rates over the study period (2007–2014) were calculated as well as prevalence rates for the proportion of procedures with greater than 0 cost sharing. An interrupted time series regression analysis was conducted with the primary outcome variable the rate of preventive service utilization per person per month. Results: The overall trend in utilization of preventive mammography and cervical cancer screening slightly decreased as a result of the ACA cost sharing benefit policy change. There was a non-significant decrease for colonoscopy utilization as a result of the ACA policy change. Conclusion: The ACA's cost benefit policy change is not having the desired impact of increasing preventive screening utilization. Further research is needed to determine whether providing educational materials covering the cost sharing benefit at policy enrollment might increase procedure uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100044
JournalHealth Policy OPEN
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Cost sharing
  • Health policy
  • Healthcare utilization
  • Mammography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'Utilization and cost sharing for preventive cancer screenings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this