Oral cancer patients achieve comparable survival at high safety-net burden hospitals.

Journal: American Journal Of Otolaryngology

Objective: To evaluate the impact of hospital safety-net burden and social demographics on the overall survival of patients with oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma.

Methods: We identified 48,176 oral cancer patients diagnosed between the years 2004 to 2015 from the National Cancer Database and categorized treatment facilities as no, low, or high safety-net burden hospitals based on the percentage of uninsured or Medicaid patients treated. Using the Kaplan Meier method and multivariate analysis, we examined the effect of hospital safety-net burden, sociodemographic variables, and clinical factors on overall survival.

Results: Of the 1269 treatment facilities assessed, the median percentage of uninsured/Medicaid patients treated was 0% at no, 11.6% at low, and 23.5% at high safety-net burden hospitals and median survival was 68.6, 74.8, and 55.0 months, respectively (p < 0.0001). High safety-net burden hospitals treated more non-white populations (15.4%), lower median household income (<$30,000) (23.2%), and advanced stage cancers (AJCC III/IV) (54.6%). Patients treated at low (aHR = 0.97; 95% CI = 0.91-1.04, p = 0.405) and high (aHR = 1.05; 95% CI = 0.98-1.13, p = 0.175) safety-net burden hospitals did not experience worse survival outcomes compared to patients treated at no safety-net burden hospitals.

Conclusions: High safety-net burden hospitals treated more oral cancer patients of lower socioeconomic status and advanced disease. Multivariate analysis showed high safety-net burden hospitals achieved comparable patient survival to lower burden hospitals.

Christa Lam, Muhammad Qureshi, Prachi Patel, Justin Park, Rushil Dang, Samuel Rubin, Andrew Salama, Minh Truong

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