Impact of United States Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations on Utilization of Prostate-specific Antigen Screening in Medicare Beneficiaries

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Previous studies assessing the impact of United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations on utilization of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening have not investigated longer-term impacts of 2008 recommendations nor have they investigated the impact of 2012 recommendations in the Medicare population. This study aimed to evaluate change in utilization of PSA screening, post-2008 and 2012 USPSTF recommendations, and assessed trends and determinants of receipt of PSA screening in the Medicare population.


This retrospective study of male Medicare beneficiaries utilized Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey data and linked administrative claims from 2006 to 2013. Beneficiaries aged ≥65 years, with continuous enrollment in parts A and B for each year they were surveyed were included in the study. Beneficiaries with self-reported/claims-based diagnosis of prostate cancer were excluded. The primary outcome was receipt of PSA screening. Other measures included age groups (65 to 74 and ≥75), time periods (pre-2008/post-2008 and 2012 recommendations), and sociodemographic variables.


The study cohort consisted of 11,028 beneficiaries, who were predominantly white (87.56%), married (69.25%), and unemployed (84.4%); 52.21% beneficiaries were aged ≥75. Declining utilization trends for PSA screening were observed in men aged ≥75 after 2008 recommendations and in both age groups after 2012 recommendations. The odds of receiving PSA screening declined by 17% in men aged ≥75 after 2008 recommendations and by 29% in men aged ≥65 after 2012 recommendations.


The 2008 and 2012 USPSTF recommendations against PSA screening were associated with declines in utilization of PSA screening during the study period. USPSTF recommendations play a significant role in affecting utilization patterns of health services.

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