Cervical Cancer Screening and Follow-Up Procedures in Women Age <21 Years Following New Screening Guidelines

Alexandra M. Foxx, Yuwei Zhu, Edward Mitchel, Sayeh Nikpay, Dineo Khabele, Marie R. Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: The 2009 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines recommended no cervical cancer screening before age 21 years. We examined changes in screening, diagnostic, and treatment procedures for cervical dysplasia after guideline introduction, and cost implications. Methods: We studied Davidson County women aged 18–20 years, enrolled in Tennessee Medicaid, 2006–2014. We identified those with at least one Papanicolaou (Pap) test, human papillomavirus detection test, colposcopy, or excisional dysplasia treatment annually via Current Procedural Terminology coding. We used rate ratios with 95% confidence intervals to compare annual changes in procedure and treatment rates from 2014 to 2006. We counted total outcomes to estimate annual costs based on 2014 average procedural costs. Results: From 2006 to 2014, about 3,800 Davidson County women aged 18–20 years were enrolled in Medicaid annually. From 2006 to 2014, there were declines in Pap tests from 55.6 to 15.2 per 100 women (rate ratio.27, 95% confidence interval.25–.3); human papillomavirus tests from 13.8 to 5.9 per 100 (.42,.36–.5); colposcopy from 9.4 to 1.1 per 100 (.12,.08–.17); and dysplasia treatment from 1.1 to 0 per 100. The estimated cost of screening and procedures fell from $53 to $8 per enrolled woman, not accounting for changes in visits or complications associated with these procedures. Conclusions: The 2009 screening guidelines were associated with major declines in screening, diagnostic, and treatment procedures for cervical dysplasia. Minimum estimated procedure and treatment costs saved were $45 per enrolled woman age 18–20 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-175
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded through Emerging Infections Cooperative Agreement 5U01C10003. We are indebted to the Tennesee Bureau of TennCare of the Department of Finance and Administration, which provided the data.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine


  • Cervical cancer
  • Cervical dysplasia
  • Screening guidelines


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