Expanded Medicaid coverage in New Jersey, New York and Washington between 2012 and 2015 led to lower rates of breast reconstruction among Black, Hispanic, and Asian women compared with women in Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin which didn’t expand Medicaid coverage. It did not change for White women.
The findings point to factors other than hospital costs and care outcomes that influence the decision for breast reconstruction, according to researchers.
Among the obstacles faced by patients seeking breast reconstruction are the direct expenses like high premiums and out-of-pocket payments, as well as the indirect expenses, such as time away from work and hospitalization.
“The time-intensive surgery and recovery process could substantially deter disadvantaged patients with limited resources,” the researchers suggested.
See “Medicaid expansion and breast reconstruction” by Bob Kronemyer on the Contemporary OB/GYN website (August 23, 2021)
See the full text of the scientific paper “Factors Associated With State-Specific Medicaid Expansion and Receipt of Autologous Breast Reconstruction Among Patients Undergoing Mastectomy” by Kristine A Huynh et al.