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Addressing Breast Cancer Screening Disparities Among Uninsured and Insured Patients: A Student-Run Free Clinic Initiative

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ARTICLE DOWNLOAD

Addressing Breast Cancer Screening Disparities Among Uninsured and Insured Patients: A Student-Run Free Clinic Initiative

10$

Sabrina Khalil, Leigh Hatch, Corley Rachelle Price, Sri Harsha Palakurty, Elizabeth Simoneit, Anna Radisic, Anaisy Pargas, Ishana Shetty, Michelle Lyman, Patrick Couchot, Richard Roetzheim, Lucy Guerra & Eduardo Gonzalez 

Abstract

Mammography rates among the uninsured are less than half of those among insured patients as reported by American Cancer Society (Breast cancer facts & figures 2017–2018, American Cancer Society, Inc., Atlanta, 2017). This may stem from high costs of and limited access to a usual place for health care, which may portend delayed breast cancer diagnoses and poorer outcomes among uninsured women. Student-run free clinics provide opportunities for uninsured patients to establish a medical home, thereby increasing access to preventative health care. The purpose of this study is to determine the rates of breast cancer screening at a student-run free clinic and compare them to national averages. A retrospective chart review was conducted using patients of BRIDGE Healthcare Clinic who were women ages 40–75 years between January 2012 and March 2018. Medical records were reviewed for demographics, date of mammogram, and screening results. A total of 194 women 40 years or older were included in the review. Overall, of the 157 women who were 45 years or older at their most recent visit, 75.5% were up-to-date according to guidelines set forth by the American Cancer Society. These values are well above the reported national rates in insured and uninsured women (21%, 53%, respectively) as reported by American Cancer Society (Breast cancer facts & figures 2017–2018, American Cancer Society, Inc., Atlanta, 2017). Of the patients who obtained screening mammograms, 84.5% utilized BRIDGE Healthcare Clinic’s program. Volunteer providers are often the sole source of health care for a substantial portion of uninsured patients, who may have unmet preventative health needs. As such, the findings of this study suggest that student-run free clinics play an important role in increasing uninsured patients’ access to mammograms. The breast cancer screening program described herein may serve as an example for implementation by other student-run free clinics.

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Year 2020
Language English
Format PDF
DOI 10.1007/s10900-019-00767-x