In this paper OTA summarizes the evidence on the effectiveness and costs of colorectal cancer screening in the elderly and explores the implications for Medicare of offering this preventive technology as a Medicare benefit. Nowhere are the hard choices between potential medical benefits and high costs illustrated more clearly than with this cancer screening technology.
This paper examines what is known about the course of cervical cancer in elderly women; the effectiveness of the Pap test and its accuracy in this age group; the relative costs and effectiveness of different screening test schedules for elderly women; and the implications of these findings for Medicare.
This paper reviews the evidence that elevation of serum cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease in the elderly and that the detection and treatment of hypercholesterolemia in an elderly individual who does not have clinically apparent heart disease will diminish overall morbidity or mortality. It also estimates health care expenditures associated with screening and treatment of hypercholesterolemia in the elderly.
This paper reviews both new and previously published data on the proportions of elderly currently receiving a variety of preventive health services; we examine factors associated with whether the elderly receive these services; and we analyze the likely implications for Medicare if preventive health services were offered as covered benefits.