Evaluating Quality of Care for Patients With Medicaid vs Private Insurance

Cary Gross, MD, discusses the background of his research on patients with lung cancer and Medicaid.

Cary Gross, MD, professor of medicine and of epidemiology, and founder and director, the Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research Center, Yale School of Medicine; director, Adult Primary Care Center, Quality Improvement; chair, National Clinician Scholars Program; and director, National Clinician Scholars Program, discusses the background of his research on patients with lung cancer and Medicaid.

In the American healthcare system, Medicaid is one of the largest public health insurance programs with about 1 in 5 Americans having its coverage. A study led by Gross et al compared Medicaid patients with private insurance patients.

Investigators aimed to evaluate this topic as previous studies have suggested that patients with cancer who have Medicaid end up experiencing lower quality of care vs patients who are privately insured.

Transcription:

0:08 | The reason my authors and I set out to study the relation between Medicaid and the quality of lung cancer care is that Medicaid is a vitally important player in the American healthcare system. It's our nation's largest public health insurance program and covers approximately 1 in 5 Americans. For our study, that comparator was patients with private insurance.

0:38 | But what I wanted to be clear about is that Medicaid is far better than having no insurance. Many studies have shown that patients with Medicaid have better access to care than the uninsured. Patients with Medicaid are more likely to get high quality care and have higher satisfaction than patients who are uninsured. So, I wouldn't want anyone to look at our study and say, “I guess Medicaid is not that good,” or “Let's get rid of Medicaid.” That's not what we're talking about. This is a study of Medicaid versus private insurance. And the reason why we set out to explore Medicaid is because prior studies have suggested that patients with cancer and Medicaid experience lower quality of care than patients who are privately insured.