Author Interviews, Brain Cancer - Brain Tumors, Cancer, Cost of Health Care / 12.08.2016 Interview with: Wuyang Yang, M.D., M.S. Research Fellow Department of Neurosurgery Johns Hopkins Hospital Baltimore, MD 21287 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The treatment for glioblastoma (GBM) patients involves a combined approach of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Despite advancement in the therapeutic approaches for GBM, differing socioeconomic status result in disparities in health-care access, and may superimpose a significant impact on survival of glioblastoma patients. Insurance status is an indirect indicator of overall socioeconomic status of a patient, and has been shown to correlate with survival of patients with malignant tumor in other parts of the body. We conducted the first study to determine a relationship between different types of insurance and survival of GBM patients. In our study of 13,665 cases of GBM patients, we found that non-Medicaid insured patients have a significant survival benefit over uninsured and even Medicaid insured patients. This is the first time a study describes this relationship in glioblastoma patients, and also the first to compare and quantify the likelihood of poor prognosis between different insurance categories. A difference in insurance coverage was also uncovered, and patients with insurance were more likely to be older, female, white, and married. In addition, we found that younger, female, married patients with smaller tumor size survive longer than other patients, which confirmed findings in existing literature. (more…)
AHRQ, Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care / 07.07.2016 Interview with: Jessica Vistnes, Ph.D. Senior Economist, Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey – Household Component (MEPS-HC), sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), is one of the few sources of nationally representative data that can assess changes in the percentage of Americans gaining and losing health insurance coverage between 2013 and 2014, the first year that many provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were implemented. The MEPS-HC is also one of the few data sources that can be used to assess changes in the rates at which Americans are uninsured for a full calendar year. Three new AHRQ studies use data from the MEPS-HC and show large declines from 2013 to 2014 in the percentage of non-elderly adults who were uninsured throughout the calendar year. They also show large increases in the likelihood of gaining health care coverage from 2013-2014 compared to 2012-2013 across demographic groups defined by age, race/ethnicity and education. (more…)