Quality of Care for Breast Cancer for Uninsured Women in California Under the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention Treatment Act

Published In: Journal of Clinical Oncology, v. 28, no. 21, July 20, 2010, p. 3479-3484

Posted on RAND.org on July 20, 2010

by Jennifer Malin, Allison Diamant, Barbara Leake, Yihang Liu, Amardeep Thind, Katherine L. Kahn, Eric C. Schneider, Arnold M. Epstein, Rose C. Maly

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PURPOSE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the quality of care provided to uninsured women with breast cancer who received treatment through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention Treatment Program (BCCTP). METHODS: Participants included women with stage I to III breast cancer (n = 658) from a consecutive sample of women 18 years or older who received coverage through the California BCCTP between February 2003 and September 2005 who consented to a survey and medical record review (61% response rate). Quality of breast cancer care was evaluated using 29 evidence-based quality measures developed for the National Initiative for Cancer Care Quality (NICCQ). NICCQ, a largely insured cohort of women diagnosed with stage I to III breast cancer in 1998, was used to benchmark the results. RESULTS: Twenty-three percent of women presented with stage III disease compared with fewer than 10% nationally. Patients received 93% of recommended care (95% CI, 92% to 93%). Adherence to recommended care within domains ranged from 87% for post-treatment surveillance (95% CI, 84% to 90%) to 97% for diagnostic evaluation (95% CI, 96% to 97%). Compared to the NICCQ cohort, adherence to quality measures was as good or better for the BCCPT cohort in all domains except post-treatment surveillance. CONCLUSION: The BCCTP has made important inroads in providing poor, uninsured women with access to high quality care when faced with the diagnosis of breast cancer; however, many present at an advanced stage, which is associated with worse outcomes.

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