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Preventing Serious Illness with Routine Care and Screenings While Promoting Equity


Published Dec 4, 2023 • by AHIP

Every American deserves access to preventive care and screenings that are essential to reducing the risks for many diseases. Cancer screenings, dental check-ups, routine physical exams, and vaccinations are keys to preventing and identifying potential problems early. Proactively seeking care and tackling health issues help people stay healthy and reduces the risk of patients’ conditions advancing and requiring additional care.

This is especially true for those with Medicare coverage. A recent study found that 10 out of the 14 common health conditions studied, including breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, lung cancer, heart disease and colorectal cancer, were more commonly diagnosed in the initial year of Medicare coverage compared to the five-year periods before or after.

The report also found that higher rates of screening and preventive care among Medicare Advantage beneficiaries not only helps identify chronic conditions such as cancer earlier, but also helps beneficiaries get care quicker, improving patient outcomes and reducing long-term costs associated with treatment.

Health insurance providers are leading the way by encouraging the people they serve to get their recommended preventive services and incentivizing providers to ensure that their patients are up to date with these important preventive screenings with a focus on improving health equity.

  • Aledade-Florida Blue ACO’s primary care practices outperformed the market in the percentage of people with diabetes who have their conditions under control, as well as screening rates for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and cervical cancer, and saw reductions in hospitalizations and emergency department visits in 2022.
  • CareSource provides advanced heart screenings to every HBCU (Historically Black College or University) athlete and interested students in Florida using an electrocardiogram (ECG).
  • CareSource also achieved significant health gains on six key measures outlined by the Georgia Department of Community Health, which includes improvements in breast cancer screenings, blood pressure control, childhood vaccinations, postpartum care, blood glucose level control, and prenatal care visits.
  • Cigna has released a digital dental screening tool to help identify potential concerns and provide customized oral health tips.
  • Highmark True Performance initiative has not only kept members healthier through recommended immunizations, drug therapies for chronic conditions, cancer screenings, and annual wellness visits, but has resulted in more than $3 billion in cost savings.
  • Independence Blue Cross launched an initiative to close the gaps in colorectal cancer screening and improve screening rates among Black residents ages 45 to 75, who are disproportionately affected by the condition.
  • L.A. Care Health Plan’s Street Medicine Initiative provides street medicine services for people experiencing homelessness, including vaccinations, preventive and mental health screenings, and connections to social and housing services.
  • Signify Health, a CVS Health firm, is offering a comprehensive in-home kidney health screening, including EGFR testing and urinalysis, at no cost for its Medicare Advantage members.