Health Services Utilization

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 perinatal services and chlamydia screening is increasing, while the rate of cervical cancer screens among women in commercial plans and mammograms among women in both commercial and Medicaid plans declined between 2003 and 2004.

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 81 percent of commercially-insured women and 64.7 percent of women covered by Medicaid.
Chlamydia screening is the one screening service that is more common among Medicaid-enrolled women than those with private coverage: 49 percent of Medicaid-enrolled women aged 21-25 had a chlamydia screen in the previous year, compared to 31.7 percent of commercially-insured women.

In 2004, the rate of mammograms for women aged 52-69 was approximately equal for women with private coverage and those covered through Medicare. However, Medicaid-enrolled women are considerably less likely to receive a mammogram at least once every 2 years.

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Women's Health USA 2006 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2006. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.