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Clin Cancer Res. 2017 Jul 20. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-16-3027. [Epub ahead of print]

Insurance Clearance for Early-Phase Oncology Clinical Trials Following the Affordable Care Act.

Author information

1
Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.
2
Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.
3
Department of Biostatistics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.
4
The Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy and Clinical Trials, University of California, San Diego, California.
5
Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. dshong@mdanderson.org.

Abstract

Purpose: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) required that private insurance plans allow clinical trial participation and cover standard-of-care costs, but the impact of this provision has not been well-characterized. We assessed rates of insurance clearance for trial participation within our large early-phase clinical trials program, before and after implementation of the requirement.Experimental Design: We analyzed the departmental database for the Clinical Center for Targeted Therapy (CCTT) at MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX). Among patients referred for sponsored trials, we described rates of insurance clearance and prolonged time to clearance (at least 14 days) from July 2012 to June 2013 (baseline), July 2013-December 2013 (following CCTT staffing changes in July 2103), and January 2014-June 2015 (following implementation of the ACA). We used multivariable logistic regression models to compare rates across these time periods.Results: We identified 2,404 referrals for insurance clearance. Among privately insured patients, insurance clearance rates were higher for those referred from January 2014 to June 2015 than for those referred from July 2012 to June 2013 (OR, 4.72; 95% CI, 2.96-7.51). There was no association between referral period and clearance rates for Medicare/Medicaid patients (P = 0.25). Referral from January 2014 to June 2015 was associated with lower rates of prolonged clearance among both privately insured (OR 0.57; 95% CI, 0.38-0.86) and Medicare/Medicaid patients (OR 0.39; 95% CI, 0.19-0.83).Conclusion: Within our large early-phase clinical trials program, insurance clearance rates among privately insured patients improved following implementation of the ACA's requirement for coverage of standard-of-care costs. Clin Cancer Res; 23(15); 1-8. ©2017 AACR.

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