Differences in Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment:Experiences of Insured and Uninsured Patients in a Safety Net Setting
To explore how well the safety net performs at eliminating differences in diagnosis and treatment of insured and uninsured women with breast cancer, we compared insured and uninsured women treated in a safety net setting. Controlling for socioeconomic characteristics, uninsured women are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced disease, requiring more extensive treatment relative to insured women, and also experience delays in initiating and completing treatment. The findings suggest that, despite the safety net system, uninsured women with breast cancer are likely to require more costly treatment and to have worse outcomes, relative to insured women with breast cancer.
The project received financial support from The Commonwealth Fund. The authors have no financial conflicts of interest to disclose. The authors would like to thank Marianne Bitler and Ami Glazer for their helpful comments. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.