California Mammogram Program Cuts Affecting More Than Anticipated
California health officials recently reported that cuts to the state's no-cost mammogram program for low-income and uninsured residents have affected more women than expected, the AP/Ventura County Star reports.
In January, the state imposed a six-month enrollment freeze on its Every Woman Counts program in an effort to reduce spending. The state also raised the minimum age for program participants from 40 to 50.
Health officials said the cuts aimed to reduce the number of mammogram recipients by 17%, to about 21,600 monthly.
However, state officials this week reported that the program provided mammograms to an average of fewer than 10,000 patients monthly during the first three months of the year.
Officials said the number of reported mammogram screenings is likely to rise over the coming months because health care providers can bill for mammograms for up to a year.
State Sen. Jenny Oropeza (D-Long Beach) requested the information on the number of breast cancer screenings administered following the cuts.
Health officials expect the cuts to Every Woman Counts to continue past July, when budget negotiations are likely to determine the program's fate.Both houses of the Legislature currently are considering legislation designed to reinstate funding for the program (Tayefe Mohajer, AP/Ventura County Star, 5/20). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.