Original Study| Volume 29, ISSUE 1, P62-64, February 2016

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The Association between Insurance Status and Acceptance of Chlamydia Screening By Teenagers Who Present for Preventive Care Visits


      Study Objective

      The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether providers offer chlamydia screening to teenagers and/or whether screening is accepted at different rates depending on insurance type.


      Retrospective chart review.


      Academic center serving urban and suburban patients between April 2009 and October 2011.


      Nine hundred eighty-three health maintenance visits for asymptomatic, insured female adolescents aged 15-19 years.



      Main Outcome Measures

      Dichotomous dependent variables of interest indicated whether chlamydia screening was: (1) offered; and (2) accepted. The key independent variable insurance type was coded as ‘public’ if Medicaid or Medicaid Managed Care and ‘private’ if a commercial plan. χ2 and logistic regression analyses were used to assess the significance of differences in screening rates according to insurance type.


      Of asymptomatic health-maintenance visits 933 (95%) had a documented sexual history and 339 (34%) had a documented history of sexual activity. After excluding those who had a documented chlamydia screen in the 12 months before the visit (n = 79; 23%), 260 visits met eligibility for chlamydia screening. Only 169 (65%) of eligible visits had chlamydia screening offered and there was no difference in offer of screening according to insurance type. Significantly more visits covered by public insurance had chlamydia screening accepted (98%) than those covered by private insurance (82%). Controlling for demographic factors, the odds of accepted chlamydia screening was 8 times higher in visits covered by public insurance than those with private insurance.


      Although publically and privately insured teens were equally likely to be offered chlamydia screening, publically insured teens were significantly more likely to accept screening. Future research should investigate reasons for this difference in screening acceptance. These findings have implications for interventions to improve chlamydia screening because more adolescents are covered by parental insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

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