August 25, 2016 – Insurance and Outcomes


Anchor lead:  Insurance status influences cancer outcomes, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Men with testicular cancer and either no insurance or Medicaid fared worse than men with commercial insurance, a recent study concluded.  William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Nelson: They showed up with larger tumors, cancers that were more likely to have spread throughout the body. They were more likely to die as a result of testicular cancer.  They had less surgery less radiation therapy, and so this looked like a delay in the ability to get care, and once one was ready for care an inadequate level of care even when one showed up and this really seems like it was related to the amount of insurance coverage in what was largely a fee for service kind of enterprise.   :31

Nelson notes that another recent study showed the same outcome for those with a type of brain tumor, and says intervention on a policy level is needed to correct this disparity as soon as possible.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.