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Insurance-Based Differences in Time to Diagnostic Follow-up after Positive Screening Mammography



Insurance may lengthen or inhibit time to follow-up after positive screening mammography. We assessed the association between insurance status and time to initial diagnostic follow-up after a positive screening mammogram.


Using 1995-2010 data from a North Carolina population-based registry of breast imaging and cancer outcomes, we identified women with a positive screening mammogram. We compared receipt of follow-up within 60 days of screening using logistic regression and evaluated time to follow-up initiation using Cox proportional hazards regression.


Among 43,026 women included in the study, 73% were <65 years and 27% were 65+ years. Median time until initial diagnostic follow-up was similar by age group and insurance status. In the adjusted model for women <65, uninsured women experienced a longer time to initiation of diagnostic follow-up [HR, 0.47; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.25-0.89] versus women with private insurance. There were increased odds of these uninsured women not meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guideline for follow-up within 60 days (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.31-1.94). Among women ages 65+, women with private insurance experienced a faster time to follow-up (adjusted HR, 2.09; 95% CI, 1.27-3.44) than women with Medicare and private insurance. Approximately 10% of women had no follow-up by 365 days.


We found differences in time to initial diagnostic follow-up after a positive screening mammogram by insurance status and age group. Uninsured women younger than 65 years at a positive screening event had delayed follow-up.

To read more, see the following article on the PubMed website: PMID: 27803069