The quality of invasive breast cancer care for low reimbursement rate patients: A retrospective study

Shaofei Su , Zhiqiang Wang, Bao Han, Xinyu Wang, Xi Li, Meiqi Zhang, Jiaying Wang, Hao Jiang, Wenjie Wang, Siyang Qu, Meina Liu (Corresponding Author)

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Though evidence-based treatments have been recommended for breast cancer, underuse of the treatments was still observed. To certain extent, patients’ access to care, which can be enhanced by increasing the coverage of health insurance, could account for the current underuse in recommended care. This study aimed to examine the association between different proportions of reimbursement and quality of recommended breast cancer care, as well as length of hospital stay. In this retrospective study, 3669 patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 1 June, 2011 and 30 June, 2013 were recruited. Seven quality indicators from preoperative diagnosis procedures to adjuvant therapy and one composite indicator were selected as dependent variables. Logistic regression and generalized linear models were used to explore the association between quality of care and length of hospital stay with different reimbursement rates. Compared with UEBMI (urban employment basic medical insurance), which represented high level reimbursement rate, patients with lower rates of reimbursement were less likely to receive core biopsy, HER-2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor-2) testing, BCS (breast conserving surgery), SLNB (sentinel lymph nodes biopsy), adjuvant therapy and hormonal treatment. No significant difference in preoperative length of hospital stay was observed among the three insurance schemes, however URBMI (urban resident basic medical insurance) insured patients stayed longer for total length of hospital stay. Significant disparities in utilization of evidence-based breast cancer care among patients with different proportions of reimbursement were observed. Patients with lower rate of reimbursement were less likely to receive recommended care. Our findings could provide important support for further healthcare reform and quality improvement in breast cancer care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalPLoS One
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


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