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ASH 2023: How Your Insurance Type May Affect Your Blood Cancer Outcome
Posted: Mar 11, 2024
ASH 2023: How Your Insurance Type May Affect Your Blood Cancer Outcome image

If you or a loved one are battling a blood cancer like DLBCL, it is important to understand the different aspects that may impact your journey to recovery, such as the type of insurance you have. Dr. Kingsley Nnawub of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest Regional Campus shared his research findings at the recent ASH 2023 conference. These findings demonstrate how the type of insurance a patient has impacts their survival outcomes and the quality of care they receive. Watch his interview or read the summary of his findings below. 

Dr. Nnawub's research focused on blood cancer patients in Arkansas, analyzing medical record data from 2013 to 2022. His team reviewed over 2,400 patients' records, assessing how different insurance types influenced their survival outcomes and the quality of care they received. 

Key Findings

  • Insurance type matters: The study revealed that the type of insurance patients had was the most important factor affecting their survival. This includes Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, military insurance, and those without insurance. Patients with private insurance fared better in terms of survival. They often had access to more comprehensive care options, especially after completing their main cancer treatments
  • Medicare and survival rates: Patients on Medicare, typically above 65 years of age, showed less favorable outcomes over five years compared to those with private insurance. This could be due to limited post-treatment care options and the presence of other health conditions like diabetes or heart disease
  • Age and comorbidities: While age and the presence of other health conditions did play a role in patient outcomes, they weren't as significant as the type of insurance in determining patient outcomes 

What Does This Mean for You?

As a patient battling DLBCL, this information is invaluable. It highlights the need to understand your insurance policy and its limitations or advantages. Here are some ways this study can be useful to you:

  • Advocating for better care: Knowing that insurance types can affect outcomes, you can advocate for the best possible care under your current plan
  • Exploring options: If possible, explore different insurance options that might offer more comprehensive coverage for your treatment needs
  • Informing decisions: Use this information when making decisions about your treatment plan. Discuss with your healthcare provider how your insurance might influence your care options 

Navigating Your Journey with Confidence

The journey through DLBCL treatment can be complex and multifaceted. This study is a reminder that your insurance type is more than just a way to pay for treatment; it's a crucial element that can influence your overall care and prognosis. As you navigate this path, keep in mind the importance of understanding all aspects of your treatment, including insurance.

Remember, you're not alone in this fight. Your healthcare team, including doctors, nurses, and patient advocates, can provide guidance and support. Don't hesitate to ask questions and seek the best possible care for your unique situation.

In conclusion, Dr. Nnawub's study shares important insight about the critical role of insurance in cancer treatment outcomes. As a patient, being informed and proactive about your insurance can make a significant difference in your treatment journey. Stay empowered, and remember that every step you take is a step towards recovery and better health. 

If patients have financial questions, they are welcome to contact HealthTree’s financial manager Diahanna at diahanna@healthtree.org free of charge.

The author Megan Heaps

about the author
Megan Heaps

Megan joined HealthTree in 2022. As a writer and the daughter of a blood cancer patient, she is dedicated to helping patients and their caregivers understand the various aspects of their disease. This understanding enables them to better advocate for themselves and improve their treatment outcomes. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, sewing, and cooking.

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