Impact of the affordable care act's medicaid expansion on presentation stage and perioperative outcomes of colorectal cancer.
Objective: Medicaid expansion has improved healthcare coverage and preventive health service use. To what extent this has resulted in earlier stage colorectal cancer diagnoses and impacted perioperative outcomes is unclear.
Methods: This was a retrospective difference-in-difference study using the National Cancer Database on adults (40-64) with Medicaid or no insurance, diagnosed with colorectal adenocarcinomas before (2010-2013) and after (2015-2018) expansion. The primary outcome was early-stage (American Joint Committee on Cancer Stage 0-1) diagnosis. The secondary outcomes were rate of local excision, emergency surgery, postoperative length of stay, rates of minimally invasive surgery, postoperative mortality, and overall survival (OS).
Results: Medicaid expansion was associated with an increase in early-stage diagnoses for patients with colorectal cancers (odds ratio [OR]: 1.28, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.15-1.43), an increase in local excision (OR: 1.39, 95% CI: 1.13-1.69), and a decreased rate of emergent surgery (OR: 0.85, 95% CI: 0.75-0.97) and 90-day mortality (OR: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.59-0.97). Additionally, patients in expansion states postexpansion had an improved 5-year OS (hazard ratio: 0.88, 95% CI: 0.83-0.94).
Conclusions: Insurance coverage expansion may be particularly important for optimizing stage of diagnosis, subsequent survival, and perioperative outcomes for socioeconomically vulnerable patients.