Among insured cancer survivors, cost remains a barrier to follow-up care, study finds

As many as 10 percent of insured cancer survivors delayed follow-up care in the previous 12 months due to costs such as deductibles or copays, according to a recent study published in Cancer Medicine.

Researchers from the Medical College of Georgia and the Georgia Cancer Center, both in Augusta, analyzed data from 5,426 cancer survivors who were part of a National Institutes of Health database as of November 2020. The majority of participants were white, most were insured, more than half had an annual income of at least $75,000, and most were college graduates or had an advanced degree.

Findings, published May 3, showed about 3 percent to 10 percent of participants said they hadn't received follow-up care in the year prior because they couldn't afford it. Other frequently cited reasons among those who delayed care were "couldn't get time off work," and "nervous about seeing a healthcare provider," according to the research. 

"It is likely that these percentages are much higher among cancer survivors in the general population, and particularly among minorities and other populations suffering significant health disparities," researchers said. 

To view the full study, click here.

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