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Virgo K.S.,Health Services Research Program | Virgo K.S.,Emory University | Bromberek J.L.,Health Services Research Program | Glaser A.,Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust | And 3 more authors.
Cancer | Year: 2013

The United States and the European Union (EU) vary widely in approaches to ensuring affordable health care coverage for our respective populations. Such variations stem from differences in the political systems and beliefs regarding social welfare. These variations are also reflected in past and future initiatives to provide high quality cancer survivorship care. The United States spends considerably more on health care compared to most European countries, often with no proven benefit. In the United States, individuals with chronic illnesses, such as cancer survivors, often experience difficulties affording insurance and maintaining coverage, a problem unknown to EU countries with national health insurance. This article reviews health policy development over time for the United States and EU and the impact for cancer survivors. For the United States, the impact of the Affordable Care Act on improving access to affordable care for cancer survivors is highlighted. For the EU, the importance of multiple-morbidity disease management, cancer plan development, and pan-European data collection for monitoring cancer outcomes is addressed. Given predicted workforce shortages and ever-increasing numbers of aging cancer survivors on both sides of the Atlantic, sharing lessons learned will be critical. © 2013 American Cancer Society.


Friese C.R.,University of Michigan | Earle C.C.,Health Services Research Program | Silber J.H.,Children's Hospital of Philadelphia | Silber J.H.,University of Pennsylvania | Aiken L.H.,University of Pennsylvania
Surgery | Year: 2010

Background: Patients and payers wish to identify hospitals with good surgical oncology outcomes. Our objective was to determine whether differences in outcomes explained by hospital structural characteristics are mitigated by differences in patient severity. Methods: Using hospital administrative and cancer registry records in Pennsylvania, we identified 24,618 adults hospitalized for cancer-related operations. Colorectal, prostate, endometrial, ovarian, head and neck, lung, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers were studied. Outcome measures were 30-day mortality and failure to rescue (FTR) (30-day mortality preceded by a complication). After severity of illness adjustment, we estimated logistic regression models to predict the likelihood of both outcomes. In addition to American Hospital Association survey data, we externally verified hospitals with National Cancer Institute (NCI) cancer center or Commission on Cancer (COC) cancer program status. Results: Patients in hospitals with NCI cancer centers were significantly younger and less acutely ill on admission (P < .001). Patients in high volume hospitals were younger, had lower admission acuity, yet had more advanced cancer (P < .001). Unadjusted 30-day mortality rates were lower in NCI-designated hospitals (3.76% vs 2.17%; P = .01). Risk-adjusted FTR rates were significantly lower in NCI-designated hospitals (4.86% vs 3.51%; P = .03). NCI center designation was a significant predictor of 30-day mortality when considering patient and hospital characteristics (OR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.47-0.97; P = .04). We did not find significant outcomes effects based on COC cancer program approval. Conclusion: Patient severity of illness varies significantly across hospitals, which may explain the outcome differences observed. Severity adjustment is crucial to understanding outcome differences. Outcomes were better than predicted for NCI-designated hospitals. © 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.


Simard E.P.,Surveillance Research Program | Fedewa S.,Health Services Research Program | Ma J.,Surveillance Research Program | Siegel R.,Surveillance Research Program | Jemal A.,Surveillance Research Program
Cancer | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: Despite substantial declines in cervical cancer mortality because of widespread screening, socioeconomic status (SES) disparities persist. The authors examined trends in cervical cancer mortality rates and the risk of late-stage diagnoses by SES. METHODS: Using data from the National Vital Statistics System, trends in age-standardized mortality rates among women ages 25 to 64 years (1993-2007) by education level (≤12 years, 13-15 years, and a;circyen&16 years) and race/ethnicity for non-Hispanic white (NHW) women and non-Hispanic black (NHB) women in 26 states were assessed using log-linear regression. Rate ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess disparities between those with a;circ12 years versus ≤16 years of education during 1993 to 1995 and 2005 to 2007. Avertable deaths were calculated by applying mortality rates from the most educated women to others in 48 states. Trends in the risk of late-stage diagnosis by race/ethnicity and insurance status were evaluated in the National Cancer Data Base. RESULTS: Declines in mortality were steepest for those with the highest education levels (3.2% per year among NHW women and 6.8% per year among NHB women). Consequently, the education disparity widened between the periods 1993 to 1995 and 2005 to 2007 from 3.1 (95% CI, 2.4-3.9) to 4.4 (95% CI, 3.5-5.6) for NHW women and from 3.8 (95% CI, 2.0-7.0) to 5.6 (95% CI, 3.1-10.0) for NHB women. The risk of late-stage diagnosis increased for uninsured versus privately insured women over time. During 2007, 74% of cervical cancer deaths in the United States may have been averted by eliminating SES disparities. CONCLUSIONS: SES disparities in cervical cancer mortality and the risk of late-stage diagnosis increased over time. Most deaths in 2007 may have been averted by eliminating SES disparities. Copyright © 2012 American Cancer Society.


Lerro C.C.,Yale University | Robbins A.S.,Health Services Research Program | Phillips J.L.,The American College | Stewart A.K.,The American College
Annals of Surgical Oncology | Year: 2013

Background: The National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) is a large, geographically diverse hospital-based cancer registry that has been used to study factors related to cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survival. The primary purpose of this study was to compare the case counts and characteristics of patients in NCDB with population-based registries reported in the United States Cancer Statistics (USCS). Methods: Cancer case counts from NCDB were compared to case counts from USCS to measure NCDB's case coverage, or the percentage of cases captured. Case coverage was examined by a variety of characteristics, including state of residence, race/ethnicity, age, and primary cancer site. Results: The overall NCDB case coverage was 67.4 %, ranging from a high of 88.7 % for Delaware to a low of 27.1 % for Arizona. Case coverage for white, black, and Asian/Pacific Islander cases was high (64.7 % to 67.4 %), but it was much lower for American Indians/Alaskan Natives (32.8 %) and those of Hispanic ethnicity (51.1 %). Among the elderly (aged 65 + years), case coverage is much lower compared to persons younger than 65 (63.0 % and 73.0 %, respectively). Case coverage also varied widely by site, with the highest being cervix (77.9 %) and the lowest being melanoma (50.6 %). Conclusions: This study highlights the geographic- and site-specific variation in NCDB case coverage, primarily as a result of NCDB facility presence and data collection and processing protocols. These findings illustrate the strengths and limitations of NCDB as a resource for nationwide data on cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survival. © 2013 Society of Surgical Oncology.


Li C.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Li C.,University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences | Forsythe L.,Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute | Lerro C.,Health Services Research Program | Soni A.,Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Journal of Cancer Survivorship | Year: 2014

Purpose The aim of this study is to assess mental health services utilization and expenditures associated with cancer history using a nationally representative sample in the US. Methods We used data from the 2008-2011 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and multivariate regression models to assess mental health services use and expenditures among cancer survivors compared to individuals without a cancer history, stratified by age (18-64 and ≥65 years) and time since diagnosis (≤1 vs. >1 year). Results Among adults aged 18-64, compared with individuals without a cancer history, cancer survivors were more likely to screen positive for current psychological distress and depression regardless of time since diagnosis; survivors diagnosed >1 year ago were more likely to use mental health prescription drugs; those diagnosed within 1 year reported significantly lower annual per capita mental health drug expenditure and out-of-pocket mental health expenditure, while those diagnosed >1 year presented significantly higher annual per capita mental health expenditure. No significant differences in mental health expenditures were found among adults aged 65 or older. Conclusions Mental health problems presented higher health and economic burden among younger and longer-term survivors than individuals without a cancer history. This study provides data for monitoring the impact of initiatives to enhance coverage and access for mental health services at the national level. Implications for cancer survivors Early detection and appropriate treatment of mental health problems may help improve quality of cancer survivorship. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA).


Lerro C.C.,Health Services Research Program | Stein K.D.,Behavioral Research, Inc. | Smith T.,Behavioral Research, Inc. | Virgo K.S.,Health Services Research Program
Journal of Cancer Survivorship | Year: 2012

Introduction: Many large surveys collect data on cancer survivors, but few encompass the full spectrum of domains relevant to survivorship ranging from cancer care to quality of life to late- and long-term effects of cancer and its treatment. Here, we review large data sources in North America collecting cancer survivor-reported health information, and catalogue the domains of cancer survivorship each includes. Methods: We identified surveys of cancer survivors through a comprehensive web search of federal government agencies, non-profit organizations, and related societies that support health care research or provide health care services, as well as a systematic review of literature indexed on PubMed from 2000-2011. Results: A total of 57 surveys were identified, 26 nationally representative surveys and 31 regional, state, or provincial surveys. Thirty-four surveys specifically targeted cancer survivors, and an additional two surveys had supplements or modules targeted at cancer survivors. Among the nationally representative surveys, general medical characteristics and medical conditions were the most frequently reported cancer survivorship domains, and information on cancer-related costs was least frequently reported. Discussion/conclusion: Our review demonstrates that a large and growing number of surveys across the U. S. and Canada are collecting data on cancer survivors. These surveys differ in design, geographic region, primary population of interest, cancer site, and research areas of interest. They address a wide range of survivorship issues. Future cancer survivorship research should concentrate on understudied areas in order to better understand the challenges faced by this growing population. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Preussler J.M.,Health Services Research Program | Denzen E.M.,Health Services Research Program | Majhail N.S.,Health Services Research Program | Majhail N.S.,Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation | Year: 2012

Interest is growing in economic and comparative effectiveness analyses, with increasing emphasis on optimizing healthcare resources and costs. Limited information is available on the economic aspects of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We review contemporary literature on the costs and cost-effectiveness of HCT in the United States and worldwide. Published studies confirm the high costs associated with HCT, although the reported costs are highly variable, related to the differing methodologies used across studies. We examine the challenges in reviewing costs and cost-effectiveness across studies specific to HCT and highlight factors identified as associated with higher costs of HCT. We also discuss opportunities for future research in this area. © 2012 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.


Robbins A.S.,Health Services Research Program | Siegel R.L.,Health Services Research Program | Jemal A.,Health Services Research Program
Journal of Clinical Oncology | Year: 2012

Purpose: Since the early 1980s, colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality rates for whites and blacks in the United States have been diverging as a result of earlier and larger reductions in death rates for whites. We examined whether this mortality pattern varies by stage at diagnosis. Methods: The Incidence-Based Mortality database of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program was used to examine data from the nine original SEER regions. Our main outcome measures were changes in stage-specific mortality rates by race. Results: From 1985 to 1987 to 2006 to 2008, CRC mortality rates decreased for each stage in both blacks and whites, but for every stage, the decreases were smaller for blacks, particularly for distant-stage disease. For localized stage, mortality rates decreased 30.3% in whites compared with 13.2% in blacks; for regional stage, declines were 48.5% in whites compared with 34.0% in blacks; and for distant stage, declines were 32.6% in whites compared with 4.6% in blacks. As a result, the black-white rate ratios increased from 1.17 (95% CI, 0.98 to 1.39) to 1.41 (95% CI, 1.21 to 1.63) for localized disease, from 1.03 (95% CI, 0.93 to 1.14) to 1.30 (95% CI, 1.17 to 1.44) for regional disease, and from 1.21 (95% CI, 1.10 to 1.34) to 1.72 (95% CI, 1.58 to 1.86) for distant-stage disease. In absolute terms, the disparity in distant-stage mortality rates accounted for approximately 60% of the overall black-white mortality disparity. Conclusion: The black-white disparities in CRC mortality increased for each stage of the disease, but the overall disparity in overall mortality was largely driven by trends for late-stage disease. Concerted efforts to prevent or detect CRC at earlier stages in blacks could improve the worsening blackwhite disparities. © 2011 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.


Gray P.J.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Gray P.J.,Harvard University | Fedewa S.A.,Health Services Research Program | Shipley W.U.,Massachusetts General Hospital | And 5 more authors.
European Urology | Year: 2013

Background: Despite its lethal potential, many patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) do not receive aggressive, potentially curative therapy consistent with established practice standards. Objective: To characterize the treatments received by patients with MIBC and analyze their use according to sociodemographic, clinical, pathologic, and facility measures. Design, setting, and participants: Using the National Cancer Data Base, we analyzed 28 691 patients with MIBC (stages II-IV) treated between 2004 and 2008, excluding those with cT4b tumors or distant metastases. Treatments included radical or partial cystectomy with or without chemotherapy (CT), chemoradiotherapy (CRT), radiation therapy (RT), or CT alone and observation following biopsy. Aggressive therapy (AT) was defined as radical or partial cystectomy or definitive RT/CRT (total dose ≥50 Gy). Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: AT use and correlating variables were assessed by multivariable, generalized estimating equation models adjusted for facility clustering. Results and limitations: According to the database, 52.5% of patients received AT; 44.9% were treated surgically, 7.6% received definitive CRT or RT, and 25.9% of patients received observation only. AT use decreased with advancing age (odds ratio [OR]: 0.34 for age 81-90 yr vs ≤50 yr; p < 0.001). AT use was also lower in racial minorities (OR: 0.74 for black race; p < 0.001), the uninsured (OR: 0.73; p < 0.001), Medicaid-insured patients (OR: 0.81; p = 0.01), and at low-volume centers (OR: 0.64 vs high-volume centers; p < 0.001). Use of AT was higher with increasing tumor stage (OR: 2.23 for T3/T4a vs T2; p < 0.001) and nonurothelial histology (OR: 1.25 and 1.43 for squamous and adenocarcinoma, respectively; p < 0.001). Study limitations include retrospective design and lack of information about patient and provider motivations regarding therapy selection. Conclusions: AT for MIBC appears underused, especially in the elderly and in groups with poor socioeconomic status. These data point to a significant unmet need to inform policy makers, payers, and physicians regarding appropriate therapies for MIBC. © 2012 European Association of Urology.


Lin C.C.A.,Health Services Research Program | Virgo K.S.,Emory University
Journal of Oncology Practice | Year: 2013

Purpose: Although the number of medical oncologists (MOs) has steadily increased over time, and adjuvant chemotherapy provides significant survival benefit for patients with stage III colon cancer, many patients still do not receive chemotherapy. Uneven geographic distribution of MOs may contribute to decreasing access to cancer care. This study explored the association of MO availability by hospital service area (HSA) of patient residence and access to chemotherapy treatment. Methods: Using the linked SEER-Medicare database, the study identified 9,262 patients who were age ≥66 years and underwent colectomy for stage III colon cancer diagnosed from 2000 to 2005. MOs were identified by physician specialty codes. HSAs are geographic areas that are relatively self-contained with respect to routine hospital care. Multivariate logistic regression was used to investigate the association between MO availability by HSA of patient residence and initiation of chemotherapy. Results: Within 3 months after colectomy, 5,622 patients (60.7%) initiated chemotherapy. Adjusting for clinical and patient characteristics, patients residing in an HSA with ≥ one MO had an increased likelihood of initiating chemotherapy within 3 months after colectomy compared with those living in areas with no MOs (one to two MOs: OR, 1.451 [P <.01]; three to eight MOs: OR, 1.497 [P <.01]; ≥ nine MOs: OR, 1.322 [P <.01]). Conclusion: Results suggest that the availability of ≥ one MO within the HSA in which a patient resides was associated with greater access to chemotherapy after surgery. Copyright © 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.

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