High-deductible health plans associated with delays in detecting metastatic cancer

Source / Disclosures


Trad NK, et al. Summary 6503. Presented at: ASCO Annual Meeting; June 3-7, 2022; Chicago.

Trad does not take into account the relevant financial disclosures. Please see the summary of financial disclosures of all other researchers.

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this problem, please contact [email protected]

CHICAGO – Patients with high-deductible health plans have experienced delays in detecting metastatic cancer, according to a follow-up study presented at the annual ASCO meeting.

“In particular, we observed a delay in diagnosing cancer of 4.6 months,” Nikola Karim Trad, BA, a medical student at Harvard Medical School, said during his presentation.

Expected delay in diagnosing cancer.

The data obtained from Trad NK, et al. Summary 6503. Presented at: ASCO Annual Meeting; June 3-7, 2022; Chicago.

Rationale and methods

Trad and colleagues studied the impact of high-deductible health plans on the time to detect metastatic cancer among 345,401 people (mean age, 42 years; 49% women) with high-deductible health plans compared to 1,654,775 people (mean age). , 42 years; 50% women) with low deduction plans. It should be noted that both groups had a 1-year base period when all members were enrolled in low-deductible plans.

The researchers compared study participants by age, gender, race / ethnicity and morbidity (ACG), as well as poverty level, geographic region, employer size, baseline primary cancer, baseline medical and pharmacy costs, and duration of follow-up. Both high and low deduction cohorts had an average ACG score of 1.4.

The researchers used a validated claims-based algorithm to detect incidental diagnoses of metastatic cancer and estimated the time to diagnosis at baseline and follow-up using Cox’s weighted proportional risk model.

Follow-up was a maximum of 13.5 years.

Key findings

The researchers did not observe differences in time to metastatic diagnosis at baseline (HR = 0.96). However, individuals with high – deductible health plans had a longer time until the first diagnosis of metastatic cancer (HR = 0.88; P = .01), which shows a delayed detection of cancer compared to the control group.

Look forward

Nicholas Karim Trad, BA

Nikola Karim Trad

“Potential impacts of delayed cancer diagnosis include delayed initiation of palliative care and symptomatic therapies, as well as increased disease prevalence, which further limits therapeutic options,” Trad said. “There were potential limitations to our study, including the fact that our data was based on claims and there was potential for unbalanced, unmeasured confusing factors. Looking ahead, there is a need for innovative health insurance models. ”

These models should reduce the burden of cost-sharing for patients so that they are not deterred from seeking care and should be consistent with, not contrary to, the goal of improving cancer survival, he added.

For more information:

Nikola Karim Trad, BA, you can find at [email protected]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.