Timely preventive healthcare services are important to troop readiness and the health of Military Health System (MHS) beneficiaries. Prior studies have reported on use of preventive care among select MHS subgroups, but broader performance is undocumented. This study addresses that gap by comparing TRICARE Prime beneficiaries to select U.S. populations.
Rates of prenatal care in the first trimester, flu shots, and screening for breast cancer, cervical cancer, cholesterol, and blood pressure were estimated from the 2004 Health Care Survey of Department of Defense (DoD) Beneficiaries. Rates for U.S. populations were estimated from several national health surveys. Healthy People 2010 goals provided a comparison benchmark.
Utilization rates of TRICARE Prime enrollees significantly exceeded the U.S. population for all services examined and exceeded the insured U.S. population for flu shots, prenatal care, and screening for breast cancer and cervical cancer. Two Healthy People 2010 goals were met but three were not.
TRICARE Prime enrollees had similar rates of six clinical preventive care services as insured U.S. populations in 2004, but failed to meet several Healthy People 2010 guidelines. Increased emphasis on these services will be required in order to meet such objectives and reduce long-term health and financial pressures on the MHS.
Use of six clinical preventive services in TRICARE Prime compared to insured, managed care, and all U.S. populations and Healthy People 2010