This month's American Journal of Public Health reports that race and insurance status were significant factors in the care and outcomes of colorectal cancer patients.
Dr Richard Roetzheim and colleagues examined treatments received for all incident cases of colorectal cancer occurring in Florida in 1994. There were 9 551 cases in total.
Patients in commercial HMOs had higher colorectal cancer mortality
Treatments received by patients varied considerably according to their insurance coverage.
Uninsured individuals had higher adjusted risk of death compared to people in commercial fee-for-service insurance plans, as did Medicaid patients. A more surprising finding was that patients in commercial HMOs also had higher mortality rates for colorectal cancer.
In addition the investigation found that African Americans had higher
mortality rates than non-Hispanic Whites.