K. Robin Yabroff, Kewei Sylvia Shi, Jingxuan Zhao, Andrew N. Freedman, Zhiyuan Zheng, Leticia Nogueira, Xuesong Han, Carrie N. Klabunde, Janet S. de Moor

Importance of Patient Health Insurance Coverage and Out-of-Pocket Costs for Genomic Testing in Oncologists' Treatment Decisions

  • Oncology (nursing)
  • Health Policy
  • Oncology

PURPOSE Use of genomic testing, especially multimarker panels, is increasing in the United States. Not all tests and related treatments are covered by health insurance, which can result in substantial patient out-of-pocket (OOP) costs. Little is known about oncologists' treatment decisions with respect to patient insurance coverage and OOP costs for genomic testing. METHODS We identified 1,049 oncologists who used multimarker tumor panels from the 2017 National Survey of Precision Medicine in Cancer Treatment. Separate multivariable ordinal logistic regressions examined associations of oncologist-, practice-, and area-level characteristics and oncologists' ratings of importance (very, somewhat, or a little/not important) of insurance coverage and OOP costs for genomic testing in treatment decisions, adjusting for oncologist years of experience, sex, race and ethnicity, specialty, use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) tests, region, tumor boards, patient insurance mix, and area-level socioeconomic characteristics. RESULTS Among oncologists, 47.3%, 32.7%, and 20.0% reported that patient insurance coverage for genomic testing was very, somewhat, or a little/not important, respectively, in treatment decisions. In addition, 56.9%, 28.0%, and 15.2% reported that OOP costs for testing were very, somewhat, or a little/not important, respectively. In adjusted analyses, oncologists who used NGS tests were more likely to report patient insurance and OOP costs as important (odds ratio [OR], 2.00 [95% CI, 1.16 to 3.45] and OR, 2.12 [95% CI, 1.22 to 3.68], respectively) in treatment decisions compared with oncologists who did not use these tests, as were oncologists who treated solid tumors, rather than only hematological cancers. More years of experience and higher percentages of Medicaid or self-paid/uninsured patients in the practice were associated with reporting insurance coverage (OR, 1.43 [95% CI, 1.09 to 1.89]) and OOP costs (OR, 1.51 [95% CI, 1.13 to 2.01]) as important. Oncologists in practices with molecular tumor boards for genomic tests were less likely to report coverage (OR, 0.63 [95% CI, 0.47 to 0.85]) and OOP costs (OR, 0.72 [95% CI, 0.53 to 0.97]) as important than their counterparts in practices without these tumor boards. CONCLUSION Most oncologists rate patient health insurance and OOP costs for genomic tests as important considerations in subsequent treatment recommendations. Modifiable factors associated with these ratings can inform interventions to support patient-physician decision making about care.

Need a simple solution for managing your BibTeX entries? Explore CiteDrive!

  • Web-based, modern reference management
  • Collaborate and share with fellow researchers
  • Integration with Overleaf
  • Comprehensive BibTeX/BibLaTeX support
  • Save articles and websites directly from your browser
  • Search for new articles from a database of tens of millions of references
Try out CiteDrive

More from our Archive