Medicaid patients appear to receive worse cancer care than people who can afford private insurance, a trio of new studies says.
Those covered by Medicaid, the federal health plan for low-income people, are less likely to have their cancer caught at an earlier, more treatable phase. Medicaid patients also are more likely to die from cancer than people with private insurance, researchers found.
Many factors likely contribute to this, including the fact that Medicaid patients often aren't experienced in navigating the health care system, said Dr. Jyoti Patel, an oncologist at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University in Chicago.
"Research has shown that we can screen more patients, but that they get dropped along the way to treatment. We don't give them full access into curative therapy," said Patel, who's also a spokeswoman for the American Society of Clinical Oncology. "We need to do a better job to make sure that people who aren't savvy or can't advocate for themselves have that helping hand."
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Source: US News