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J Am Coll Surg. 2011 Nov;213(5):633-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2011.07.014. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

Safety-net burden hospitals and likelihood of curative-intent surgery for non-small cell lung cancer.

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  • 1Health Services Research Department, American Cancer Society, National Home Office, Atlanta, GA, USA.



Black patients are less likely to undergo surgery for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) compared with white patients, and are more likely to undergo resection at low-volume hospitals. However, little is known about the relationship between hospital safety-net burden and the likelihood of curative-intent surgery for black and white patients. This study analyzes whether hospital safety-net burden is associated with curative-intent surgery among adult early-stage NSCLC patients treated at facilities accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.


Adult patients diagnosed with invasive initial primary early-stage (TNM I-II) NSCLC during 2003-2005 were obtained from the National Cancer Data Base. Curative-intent surgery included anatomic resection, wedge resection, and segmentectomy. Hospital safety-net burden was defined as the percent of cancer patients per facility that were Medicaid-insured or uninsured. Generalized estimating equations and linear mixed models were used to control for clustering by facility.


Of 52,853 evaluable patients, those treated at high safety-net burden facilities were significantly less likely (unadjusted p < 0.0001) to undergo curative-intent surgery than patients treated at low safety-net burden facilities. Controlling for patient and other facility characteristics, high safety-net burden remained significantly associated (p < 0.0001) with reduced likelihood of curative-intent surgery overall (odds ratio = 0.69; 95% CI, 0.62-0.77) and in black- and white-only models (odds ratio = 0.59, 95% CI, 0.48-0.73; odds ratio = 0.71; 95% CI, 0.63-0.80, respectively).


Both black and white adult patients treated for early-stage NSCLC at high safety-net burden facilities are less likely to undergo curative-intent surgery than those treated at low safety-net burden facilities. Innovative solutions are needed to ensure quality cancer care at high safety-net burden facilities.

Copyright © 2011 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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