Purpose: The purpose of this study was to use data collected from a recent Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force (MCBCTF) survey to explore racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in access to screening and diagnostic services for breast cancer in Illinois and to compare equitable access to services for Chicago versus the rest of the state.

Methods: Facilities that performed mammography were recruited to participate in a quality improvement project that included completing a facility survey. Participants who completed surveys received an increased mammogram reimbursement for Medicaid patients to equal the Medicare rate from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Service. The survey included the following data elements: number of digital and analog machines, number of radiologists dedicated (>75% of their time) to breast imaging and number of general radiologists, number of dedicated and general mammography technicians, monthly volumes of screening and diagnostic mammograms, and whether breast ultrasound, MRI, or image-guided biopsy services were available at the site. In addition, sites reported the percentage of patients who were African-American (AA) or Hispanic, and the percentage of patients who were uninsured and on Medicaid, in categories of >10, 10-25, 25-40, 40-60, 60-75, 75-90, and >90%. Within each patient group defined by ethnicity and health insurance status, we estimated the number of screening mammograms performed separately for facilities with none, partial and sole reliance on dedicated radiologists, and separately by facility availability of breast MRI and image-guided biopsy. In all, 156 out of 359 facilities accredited by the Food and Drug Administration completed the survey, representing approximately 8.2 million screening mammograms conducted in calendar year 2012 in Illinois.

Results: Overall, about 3/4 of screening mammograms were performed in nH whites and 4/5 in privately insured patients. Within the city of Chicago, 47% and 30% were performed in ethnic minorities and those without private insurance, compared to 21% and 15% in the rest of the state. Within Chicago, mammograms were more than twice as likely to be performed at facilities relying solely on dedicated radiologists when compared to the rest of the state (39% vs. 17%). In Chicago, non-Hipanic Whites were more likely than their AA and Hispanic counterparts to be screened at facilities relying solely on dedicated radiologists (50% vs. 27% and 15%, respectively) and at facilities with MRI (90% vs. 57% and 71%) and biopsy services (92% vs. 63% and 79%). In a similar manner, privately insured patients were more likely than Medicaid and uninsured patients to be screened at facilities that relied solely on dedicated radiologists (44% vs. 13% and 18%, respectively). When examining equitable access to these services for the rest of the state as a whole, very little was noted in the way of disparities by race/ethnicity or insurance status.

Conclusions: Disparities in equitable access to breast cancer screening and diagnostic services exist within Chicago that are generally absent outside of the city. The concentration of academic medical centers within Chicago, while increasing access to quality breast healthcare, has also introduced racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities due to unequal access to these academic medical centers.

Citation Format: Bethliz Irizarry, Katherine Y. Tossas-Milligan, Garth Rauscher, Anne Marie Murphy. Racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in access to screening mammograms in a statewide sample of mammography facilities in Illinois. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Seventh AACR Conference on The Science of Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; Nov 9-12, 2014; San Antonio, TX. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2015;24(10 Suppl):Abstract nr B84.