The reasons for the disparities are complex and beyond the traditional healthcare arena of patient-provider relations. Older adults may not be aware of the screening services recommended for their age group, or they may not know that the services are covered by Medicare, the report said.
The report calls for increasing community access, making services available in community settings, such as providing influenza vaccinations at polling places on election days, and building awareness through media.
“If we can help patients age 65 and older get the recommended preventive screenings and regular immunizations, we could significantly reduce unnecessary illness,” said Edward Langston, MD, an American Medical Association board member.
The report was published by the CDC, and HHS’s Administration of Aging, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.