Quality Of Breast Cancer Care In The US Territories Insights From Medicare
Author: Tracy M. Layne, Jenerius A. Aminawung, Pamela R. Soulos, Marcella Nunez-Smith, Maxine A. Nunez, Beth A. Jones, Karen H. Wang, Cary P. Gross
The quality of breast cancer care among Medicare beneficiaries in the US territories—where federal spending for health care is lower than in the continental US—is unknown. We compared female Medicare beneficiaries who were residents of the US territories and had surgical treatment for breast cancer in 2008–14 to those in the continental US in terms of receipt of recommended breast cancer care (diagnostic needle biopsy and adjuvant radiation therapy [RT] following breast-conserving surgery) and the timeliness (time from needle biopsy to surgery and from surgery to adjuvant RT) of that care. Residents of the US territories were less likely to receive recommended care (24 percent lower odds of receiving diagnostic needle biopsy and 34 percent lower odds of receiving adjuvant RT) and to receive timely care (45 percent lower odds of receiving surgery and 82 percent lower odds of receiving adjuvant RT, both within three months). Further research is needed to identify barriers to the provision of adequate and timely breast cancer care in this unique population.