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Medicaid Expansion Associated With Improved Breast Cancer Outcomes

Patients with breast cancer who live in Southern states that have Medicaid expansion were more likely to receive treatment for their disease and less likely to have advanced cancer at the time of diagnosis, according to recent research.

The researchers on the study looked at patients who were uninsured or on Medicaid who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 2011 and 2018. They compared data between those living in Medicaid-expanded states (Louisiana, Kentucky and Arkansas) to those without expansion (Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Oklahoma).

Findings from 21,974 patients showed that those in the Medicaid-expanded states had a 7% decreased chance of being diagnosed with stage 4 (metastatic) disease. Patients in the Medicaid expansion states were less likely to be uninsured (18.9%) compared to those living where there was not expansion (41.1%).

Additionally, when patients received a diagnosis in states that had Medicaid expansion, they were 2.27 times more likely to receive treatment compared with those in states that did not expand. This is regardless of expansion, so more likely due to differences in states that expanded Medicaid.

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