Low-income Minnesotans less likely to get cancer screenings, study says

Low-income Minnesotans on Medicaid are much less likely to receive cancer screenings than people with other health coverage, new research has found.

Minnesota nonprofit MN Community Measurement found that a little more than half of Medicaid recipients got recommended colorectal cancer screening, while three-quarters of people with other coverage were screened.

President Jim Chase says educating older Medicaid recipients about their options could help close the gap.

"There are different kinds of testing that are available and Minnesota has a very high rate of doing colonoscopies," Chase said. "But there's just as good screenings that can be done now with other types of tests."

The study also found another health disparity — a substantial and growing gap in breast cancer screening rates for women on Medicaid ages 50 to 75.

Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Emily Johnson Piper called the disparities for public health program enrollees unacceptable and said the state needs to address this persistent problem.