Does health insurance protect against risk of financial catastrophe for pancreatic tumor care? A cost-based review of patients undergoing pancreatic resection at an academic institution

Okoroh, J. S., Weaver, L., Heslin, M. J., Vickers, S. M., Wang, T. N., Rose, J. B., Reddy, S.

BACKGROUND: Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of financial insolvency and cancer related deaths in the United States. The risk of catastrophic health expenditure (CHE) was calculated for patients undergoing pancreatic resection at an academic institution. METHODS: Patients who underwent pancreatic resection between 2013 and 2017 were identified through an institutional cancer registry. A CHE was an out-of-pocket payment (OOP) > 10% of the estimated median household income. RESULTS: 319 patients met inclusion criteria. Hospital median charge was $76,700. 99% of patients had insurance and hospital bill adjustments. As a result, 61% (n = 193) made no OOP. Only 3 patients risked CHE. For all tumors combined there were no differences in survival outcomes by OOP. CONCLUSION: This is the first study to use institutional financial data to calculate CHE risk for pancreatic resection patients. Insurance adjustments to hospital charges that accompany health insurance and voluntary hospital adjustments for the uninsured protect patients against CHE.

Topic(s): Economic Burden
Health Condition(s): Cancer
Year Published: 2021
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