For cancers that have effective treatments, access to that treatment is strongly associated with survival. Access to advanced therapies, such as immunotherapy and targeted therapy, may also contribute to survival, according to the cancer society. The reasons for the association between state Medicaid income eligibility limits and stage-specific survival could be that having health insurance may improve access to timely care and complete treatment, the authors noted in a cancer society news release. Another reason for the disparity may be that having health insurance is also associated with monitoring the patient after survival and specialized health care during that time, also known as survivorship care.
In the study, states’ Medicaid income eligibility limits were categorized as ≤50%, 51% to 137%, and ≥138% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Among patients with newly diagnosed cancer (aged 18 to 64 years), patients living in states with lower Medicaid income eligibility limits had worse survival for most cancers compared with those living in states with high Medicaid income eligibility limits (≥138% FPL), according to the report. For the study, the researchers looked at 1.4 million U.S. adults who were newly diagnosed with 19 common cancers between 2010 and 2013 in the National Cancer Database, and followed them for up to eight years.
The findings indicate that Medicaid policies are critical to survival after cancer diagnosis. “Our findings that lower historic state Medicaid income eligibility limits were associated with worse long-term survival within stage suggest that increasing Medicaid income eligibility could be an important policy lever for improving survival after cancer diagnosis,” said study author Jingxuan Zhao, a senior associate scientist at the cancer society.
SOURCE: American Cancer Society, news release, Jan. 7, 2022 From Your Site Articles The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information on and resources for cancer.
More information The findings were published online Jan. 7 in the journal JCO: Oncology Practice.
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