• Journal Article

Cost of cervical cancer treatment: implications for providing coverage to low-income women under the medicaid expansion for cancer care

Citation

Subramanian, S., Trogdon, J., Ekwueme, D. U., Gardner, J. G., Whitmire, J. T., & Rao, C. (2010). Cost of cervical cancer treatment: implications for providing coverage to low-income women under the medicaid expansion for cancer care. Women's Health Issues, 20(6), 400-405. DOI: 10.1016/j.whi.2010.07.002

Abstract

BACKGROUND: To date, no study has reported on the cost of treating cervical cancer among Medicaid beneficiaries younger than 65 years of age. This information is essential for assessing the cost effectiveness of screening interventions for low-income women and the funding required for treatment programs established by the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act of 2000. METHODS: Administrative data from the North Carolina Medicaid program linked with cancer registry data were used to analyze total Medicaid costs for these patients and the incremental costs of cervical cancer care at 6 and 12 months from diagnosis. We compared 207 beneficiaries diagnosed with cancer during the years 2002 to 2004 with 414 controls. FINDINGS: Total Medicaid costs at 6 months after diagnosis were $3,807, $23,187, $35,853, and $45,028 for in situ, local, regional, and distant cancers, respectively. The incremental cost of cancer treatment for local and regional cancers was $13,935 and $26,174 and by 12 months increased to $15,868 and $30,917, respectively. CONCLUSION: Medicaid coverage may be required for many months after diagnosis to ensure the provision of comprehensive care, especially for women with late-stage cancers. Given the great differences in cost of early versus late-stage cancers, interventions aimed at increasing screening among low-income women are likely to be cost effective