Thursday, April 14, 2022

Investigating the connections between medicaid and cancer survival


 News Release 14-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus


At first blush, the numbers aren’t great: Cancer patients who are covered by Medicaid tend to have later-stage disease and higher rates of mortality.

But when Cathy Bradley, PhD, deputy director of the University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center, started digging into the data a little deeper, she found some of the reasons for the dire statistics. Many people with cancer enroll in Medicaid only after they are diagnosed, suggesting they may have been uninsured prior to diagnosis and had limited access to cancer screening and treatment.

“What some researchers have done in the past is looked at Medicaid and observed that people who are insured by Medicaid and diagnosed with cancer have late-stage disease and greater mortality rates,” she says. “What I was able to show is that Medicaid is actually picking up people who were otherwise uninsured or underinsured. They get diagnosed with cancer, and enroll in Medicaid afterward. By then, they have late-stage cancer because they most likely did not have health insurance that would have given them access to screening and treatment prior to cancer diagnosis.”


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