QUALITY OF WOMEN'S HEALTH CARE
Indicators of the quality of health care can provide important
information about the effectiveness, safety, timeliness, and patient-centeredness
of women’s health services.
Indicators used to monitor women’s health care in managed
care plans include the timeliness of prenatal care, receipt of postpartum
checkups after delivery, screening for chlamydia, screening for
cervical cancer, and receipt of mammograms. The accessibility of
most of these services is increasing in commercial, Medicare, Medicaid
managed care plans.
Perinatal services—prenatal care and postpartum checkups—appear
to be more accessible in commercial (private) plans than in public-sector
plans financed by Medicaid. The same is true of cervical cancer
screening, which is received at least once every 3 years by nearly
82 percent of commercially-insured women and 64 percent of women
covered by Medicaid.
In 2003, the rate of breast cancer screening (mammograms) for women
aged 52-69 was approximately equal for women in private plans and
those covered through Medicare. However, Medicaid-enrolled women
in this age group are considerably less likely to receive a mammogram
at least once every 2 years.
Chlamydia screening is the one screening service that is more common
among Medicaid-enrolled women than those with private coverage:
46 percent of Medicaid-enrolled women aged 21-25 had a chlamydia
screen in the previous year, compared to 29 percent of commercially-insured