Posts Tagged ‘american-cancer’

Medicaid reimbursements may affect cancer screening rates among beneficiaries

Although Medicaid is a joint state-federal government health insurance program, each state sets the policies for its own Medicaid program within requirements set by the federal government. This includes setting how much providers are paid for health care services and who is allowed to enroll in Medicaid. To determine whether state Medicaid eligibility and reimbursement policies affect receipt of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening among Medicaid beneficiaries, Michael Halpern, MD, PhD, MPH, of RTI International, and his colleagues analyzed 2007 Medicaid data from 46 states and Washington DC.

“Few studies have examined how state-specific differences in Medicaid policies might affect use of preventive care services, particularly for early detection of cancer,” said Dr. Halpern. “Our study was able to compare differences in cancer screening for Medicaid beneficiaries in almost all states, providing a broad, national picture of the effects of state-level Medicaid policies on receipt of these critical medical care services among a large group of underserved individuals.”

The researchers found that in states with higher payments for office visits, Medicaid beneficiaries were more likely to receive recommended screenings for early detection of all three types of cancer. In contrast, higher payments for cancer screening tests (such as colonoscopy, mammography, and Pap tests) were not always linked with increased screenings among Medicaid beneficiaries. The team also found that Medicaid beneficiaries in states that had an “asset test” (which considers an individual’s savings, property, or other items of worth to determine whether he or she could enroll in Medicaid) were less likely to be screened for cancer.

The association between higher Medicaid reimbursements for office visits and increased likelihood of receiving cancer screenings may reflect barriers in access to primary care physicians and other providers for Medicaid enrollees in states with lower reimbursements. Increasing reimbursements for office visits may facilitate access to primary care among Medicaid beneficiaries, and thereby increase the likelihood of receiving appropriate cancer screening tests. On the other hand, raising reimbursement for the screening tests themselves may be a less effective policy tool for increasing use of recommended screenings. The results also indicate that eliminating asset tests may increase the likelihood of receiving cancer screenings by helping low-income individuals remain enrolled in Medicaid.

“Due to multiple factors, including Health Care Reform and decreased state budgets, many states are changing their Medicaid policies, including how much health care providers are paid and who is allowed to enroll,” said Dr. Halpern. “Our findings can help state health care decision makers and policy leaders to develop new Medicaid policies that aid low income individuals in receiving recommended cancer screenings.”

source : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140825084929.htm

Beating childhood cancer does not necessarily make survivors healthier adults, study shows

Childhood cancer survivors face different health-care challenges and are more susceptible to dying earlier than the general population. They have a higher risk of second cancers, heart disease, body weight disorders and psychosocial problems. Therefore the American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity encourages the efforts of cancer survivors to lead healthier lifestyles.

Because so little is known about how well cancer survivors adhere to these guidelines, Chloe Berdan and colleagues examined selected data from the Chicago Healthy Living Study participants. The University of Illinois investigative team led by Drs. Stolley and Sharp conducted structured health-focused interviews with 431 childhood cancer survivors and 361 people who never had the disease. The survivors, aged between 18 and 59 years old, were all diagnosed with a malignant cancer before their 21st birthdays.

No marked difference was found between how survivors and members of the control group adhered to the overall American Cancer Society guidelines. Survivors had on average a body mass index of about 1.2 kg/m² lower than that of members of the control group and smoked less. They consumed less fiber. In fact, only about one in every ten survivors (10.2 percent) met fiber recommendations, while only 17.7 percent ate five fruits or vegetables per day. Survivors were better at meeting the goal of at least five hours of moderate activity per week (60.5 percent) than to sticking to any of the other guidelines, and on average scored under 50 percent for the quality of their diets. The 0.7 percent of survivors who actually adhered fully to the guidelines tended to be women, non-smokers and people with a good view of their own health.

“There is still much room for improvement in educating and encouraging survivors to follow healthier diets and lifestyles,” says Berdan. “Adopting such behavior during early adulthood may have a lasting impact on their quality of life and overall survival.”

source : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140812163808.htm

New way to more accurately detect cervical cancer in women

The American Cancer Society predicts that this year in the United States, more than 12,100 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer, and roughly 4,220 women will die of the disease. Newer Pap tests and HPV screening more accurately identify pre-cancerous cellular changes that potentially develop into cervical cancer. When treated early, the chances of effectively treating and curing cervical cancer increase dramatically. Compared to a conventional Pap tests, the newer FDA approved process has increased detection of a significant pre-cancerous condition by more than 64%. By making the cervical cells easier to see, the new liquid-based Pap test produces better results for screening and detecting cervical cancer and its precursors.

HPV is present in more than 99% of women who develop cervical cancer. Newer DNA-based technology has also proven to be up to 40% more accurate than traditional Pap tests.

“After decades of women going to their doctor for annual Pap tests, the FDA, in a historic decision in April 2014, approved HPV testing as a replacement for the Pap test. Because of this new option for patients, more tests are now being developed to further expand the options for women and we are excited to be a part of this new, more accurate, more sensitive, and more comfortable method to prevent cancer in women. It’s a groundbreaking development that provides women in our community with access to the best cervical health screening available today,” says Dr. Mark Martens.

In this study, patients will have cancer causing HPV strains tested from the liquid-based Pap specimen to determine if either one or both tests will improve cancer detection. In order to be eligible to participate women must be at least 21 years of age or older and have not had a Pap test in the past four months or a hysterectomy. Other requirements must also be met in order to qualify for this clinical research study. Women who participate will receive study related medical care at no charge, and will be compensated for study related procedures.

source : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140807154017.htm