The Impact of Massachusetts Health Reform on Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
The 2006 Massachusetts health reform substantially increased coverage in the state. Key provisions of the reform closely parallel those of the ACA, for which Massachusetts served as a model. While there is now a substantial literature examining the effects of the reform, few studies have examined cancer diagnosis and treatment. This study uses the large expansion of health insurance coverage in Massachusetts as a natural experiment to investigate the effect of coverage on BCA and CRC cancer diagnosis and treatment. We use a quasi-experimental framework to assess the effects of insurance expansions in Massachusetts on BCA and CRC diagnosis and treatment. Data come from the Massachusetts Cancer Registry and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) cancer registries from other comparison states. We exploit variation across states and across counties within Massachusetts to estimate the relationship between health reform implementation in Massachusetts and diagnosis and treatment outcomes. Results from this research provide timely evidence regarding the effect of insurance expansions under health reform on cancer diagnosis and treatment. The health insurance landscape continues to evolve at both the state and national levels. By providing evidence on the relative importance of insurance coverage versus other factors, the results will help policymakers, providers, and other stakeholders identify where increases in coverage improve diagnosis and quality of care and where gaps remain.