publication date: Jun. 7, 2019

Clinical Roundup

Study finds link between Medicaid expansion and equity in cancer care

Racial disparities in timely cancer treatment disappeared in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to an analysis of over 30,000 health records led by researchers at Yale Cancer Center. The findings were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2019 annual meeting.

Prior to Medicaid expansion, researchers found black adults diagnosed with advanced or metastatic cancer were 4.8 percentage points less likely than white adults to start treatment within 30 days of diagnosis.

In states that expanded Medicaid in 2014 or thereafter, the percentage of black patients receiving timely treatment rose by 6.1 points, from 43.5% to 49.6%. The researchers note there was also a smaller but less significant improvement of 2.1 percentage points in white patients in those states, from 48.3% to 50.3%.

The post-expansion difference between the two groups’ access to timely care was less than one percentage point. The results suggest the Medicaid expansion led to improved health equity, said the researchers.

“The post-expansion difference between the two groups’ access to timely care was no longer statistically significant,” said study author Amy Davidoff, senior research scientist at Yale School of Public Health and Yale Cancer Center’s Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy, and Effectiveness Research Center. “Our results suggest that Medicaid expansion led to improved health equity.”

Davidoff and Cary P. Gross, director of the COPPER center, undertook the research alongside Flatiron Health, who sponsored the study.

The team studied 30,386 de-identified electronic health records dating between 2011 and 2019 from the Flatiron Health database.

Timely treatment was defined as initiation of systemic treatment (chemotherapy, targeted, … Continue reading Study finds link between Medicaid expansion and equity in cancer care

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Copyright (c) 2019 The Cancer Letter Inc.