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Racial Disparities in Money Burden

Posted 2/6/2017

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  There is little that is surprising in this report from Medscape about the difference in the financial impact of cancer on black and white Americans. There has long been a conversation about racial disparities in terms of access to care and prognosis or outcome; clearly these two issues are closely related. An examination, however, of the direct financial impact is new.

  I can summarize and you can guess about the content, but it seems smarter to just direct you to it:

Pothole vs Sinkhole: Cancer Money Burden in Whites, Blacks

Roxanne Nelson, BSN, RN

SAN DIEGO — There are significant racial differences when it comes to financial hardship among older patients with cancer, say the researchers of a new study presented at the Cancer Survivorship Symposium (CSS) Advancing Care and Research.

Overall, black patients experience the financial burden more acutely than white patients, even though they had lower out-of-pocket (OOP) spending and increased dual Medicare/Medicaid enrollment.

However, their resources were lower on average prior to the cancer diagnosis, and this aspect played a large role in how they coped with the cost incurred by cancer and its treatment.

"Out-of-pocket expenses are very high, and I think this contextualizes what this can mean for older patients," said study author Emily Castellanos, MD, an instructor in medicine at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. "But it's not the whole story, as the average out-of-pocket spending was actually higher for white patients, but pre-existing financial resources tremendously impact when this means for financial burden."

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