Financial Disparities Affect Outcomes for Patients With Myeloma


Kashyap Patel, MD, discusses the current disparities in the myeloma space and the ways in which oncologists are handling them.

Kashyap Patel, MD, chief executive officer of Carolina Blood and Cancer Care Associations, current president of the Community Oncology Alliance, and co-chair of Patient-Centered Oncology Care, discusses the current disparities in the myeloma space and the ways in which oncologists are handling them.

According to Patel, the incidence of myeloma impacts the Black population more significantly than others, including in regard to mortality where rates are almost twice as bad for those in the Black community vs White. Disparities being faced in these communities include the incidence of disease, prevalence of disease, patient outcomes, and more.

Disparities can be differentiated between access to financial care or whether or not one has insurance, insurance type, and issues in coverage. No matter what, experts like Patel do all they can to assist and care for their patients.


0:08 | Our role is to treat patients in the community of people who come to us. We treat them, we do our best, we do the out of pocket cost. Disparities can be distinguished between 5 different tiers that actually lead to disparities, access to financial care where patients may not have enough insurance, may have inadequate insurance, may not have insurance at all and issues in coverage policies.

0:33 | As a practitioner with boots on the ground, we try to find resources for every possible patient that we can to ensure that they are not left without treatment. We try to find out of pocket cost assistance, we try to find appropriate intervention, but there are things beyond our pay grade. For example, we don't have access to clinical trials for the patients with myeloma, which is one of the most vital things that we need to do, so that's something that as an industry has a whole responsibility to bring it down.

1:07 | The trials are 2, 3, 4 hours away from where the patients are. Not all treatments are available locally, so as far as treatment is concerned, access to care is concerned, access to trials are concerned, we do what we can, and even if I want to send a patient. if they don't have money to travel 200 miles away, then I think that leads to worsening outcomes. So that's in the treatment side.

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