Few Americans Receive All Their Recommended Preventive Services

With few Americans receiving all the preventive services recommended for them, efforts across the full delivery system are needed to increase the use of preventive services, according to a paper published in Health Affairs.

Preventive services are an important part of population health and can help patients maintain their good health and increased use of preventive services is imperative to shifting the healthcare system from a reactive one to a proactive one.

With few Americans receiving all the preventive services recommended for them, efforts across the full delivery system are needed to increase the use of preventive services, according to a paper published in Health Affairs.

“Commonly known reasons for not getting appropriate preventive services include lack of health insurance; lack of a usual source of care; and gaps in provider capacity, including wait times,” the authors wrote.

Researchers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality developed a composite measure and a survey to capture the use of all recommended high-priority, appropriate clinical preventive services. They found that just 8% of adults age 35 and older had received all their recommended services. Women were overall more likely than men to receive their recommended preventive services, and more likely at almost all ages expect for the 50 to 64 age group.

The investigators used data from the Preventive Services Self-Administered Questionnaire (PSAQ) with responses from 2186 adults. PSAQ asks about the receipt of 15 high-priority preventive services. Based on the person’s age, sex, and medical history, respondents should have received between 7 services and 13 services.

While only 8% received all their recommended high-priority preventive services, 22.4% received at least 76% of their recommended services. Only 16.3% received 25% or fewer, and 4.7% received none at all. Men were more likely than women to have received no recommended services (7.3% of men vs 2.4% of women).

There were significant differences between men and women for blood pressure screening (84.7% of men vs 89.6% of women), cholesterol screening (79.3% vs 85%), obesity screening and counseling (59.2% vs 63.7%), and depression screening (36.5% vs 45.1%).

“Health systems and individual practices can use the PSAQ survey and composite measure to assess the receipt of clinical preventive services among the people they serve,” the authors concluded. “They can drill down and target quality improvement efforts based on observed disparities in care and on which services are most commonly not being received.”

References

Borsky A, Chunliu Z, Miller T, Ngo-Metzger G, Bierman AS, Meyers D. Few Americans receive all high-priority, appropriate clinical preventive services. Health Aff (Millwood). 2018;37(6): 925-928. doi:

10.1377/hlthaff.2017.1248.