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C. Seizing an Opportunity in Preventive Services for the Elderly

Narrator: This is Science Today. Older women who receive medical interventions only under their doctor's orders are less likely to have mammograms, even though they are at higher risk for breast cancer. On the other hand, Dr. David Reuben, a gerontologist at UCLA, says older women who are pro-active in preventive services, including keeping current on their flu shots and taking hormone therapies, are more likely to get regular mammogram screenings.

Reuben: The bottom line from this study is that health care providers need to seize the opportunity when an older woman is going in for one of any number of preventive services, to say, this is a good time. The patient's all ready thinking about preventive services, what else is missing?

Narrator: Reuben says HMOs do better than fee for service Medicare or other kinds of commercial services when it comes to paying attention to preventive services.

Reuben: In fact, we've seen in this study, that preventive service rates are better in managed care and this is a lesson that fee for service needs to learn - is to focus on this.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.