Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 189–199

Breast cancer outcomes among older women

HMO, fee-for-service, and delivery system comparisons
  • Anna Lee-Feldstein
  • Paul J. Feldstein
  • Thomas Buchmueller
  • Gale Katterhagen
Populations At Risk

DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2001.91112.x

Cite this article as:
Lee-Feldstein, A., Feldstein, P.J., Buchmueller, T. et al. J GEN INTERN MED (2001) 16: 189. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2001.91112.x


OBJECTIVE: To analyze the relationship of health insurance status and delivery systems to breast cancer outcomes — stage at diagnosis, treatment selected, survival — focusing on comparisons among women aged 65 or more having Medicare alone, Medicare/Medicaid, or Medicare with group model HMO, non-group model HMO, or private fee-for-service (FFS) supplement.

DESIGN: Retrospectively defined cohort from Sacramento, Calif, regional cancer registry.

SETTING: Thirteen-county region in northern California with mature managed care market.

PATIENTS: Female invasive breast cancer patients aged 65 or more (N=1,146), diagnosed 1987–1993.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Health insurance was determined from hospital records. Outcomes were analyzed with multivariate regression models, controlling for age, ethnicity, time, and SES measures. Stage I diagnosis was more likely among group model HMO patients than among private FFS insured (odds ratio [OR], 1.42; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.84 to 2.40). Stage I tumors were significantly less likely for Medicaid patients (OR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.31 to 0.82). Use of breast-conserving surgery plus radiation (BCS+) varied significantly by hospital type (including HMO-owned and various-sized community hospitals) and time. Survival of patients with private FFS, group-, and non-group model HMO insurance was not significantly different, but was for those with Medicaid or Medicare alone.

CONCLUSIONS: This study sheds new light on the relationship of insurance to stage and survival among older breast cancer patients, highlighting the importance of distinguishing types of HMOs and types of FFS plans. These outcomes do not differ significantly between women with Medicare who are in HMOs and those with private FFS supplemental insurance. However, patients with Medicare/Medicaid or Medicare alone are at risk for poorer outcomes.

Key words

health insurance hospital type breast cancer stage treatment survival 

Copyright information

© Blackwell Science Inc 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Lee-Feldstein
    • 1
  • Paul J. Feldstein
    • 2
  • Thomas Buchmueller
    • 2
  • Gale Katterhagen
    • 3
  1. 1.Received from the Center for Health Policy and Research, Department of MedicineCollege of MedicineUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of ManagementUniversity of CaliforniaIrvine
  3. 3.Cancer CenterTacoma General HospitalTacoma

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