Increase in Early-Stage Cancer Diagnoses Tied to ACA’s Medicaid Expansion, Pitt Study Finds

Newswise — PITTSBURGH, Nov. 12, 2020 – In an analysis published today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health demonstrate positive effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medicaid expansion on rates of early cancer diagnosis. 

The study showed that health insurance expansions increased early-stage cancer diagnoses, while rates of late-stage cancer decreased. 

“We used cancer diagnosis rates as a marker of access to care,” explained lead author Lauren Lin, B.S., a medical student at Pitt School of Medicine. “An increase in early-stage cancer diagnoses means that people who didn’t have health care before the Medicaid expansion got a chance to see a primary care physician and get screened.” 

As the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments this week that could decide the future of the ACA, results presented in the manuscript make a strong case that striking down the law would hurt the nation’s health. 

“Our study adds to the literature demonstrating the positive health effects of Medicaid expansion,” said senior author Coleman Drake, Ph.D., assistant professor in Pitt Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management. “This is another case where, depending on the Supreme Court’s ruling, the beneficial effects of preventive care provided by Medicaid expansion could disappear.” 

The scientists used data collected from cancer registries to track cancer diagnoses pre- and post- Medicaid expansion across different states. They found an immediate increase in early-stage cancer diagnoses within a year of ACA expansion, and a slight reduction in late-stage cancer diagnoses after three years. 

“It is important to remember that while the ACA was passed 10 years ago, the key provisions weren’t implemented until 2014,” said co-author Lindsay Sabik, Ph.D., associate professor of health policy and management at Pitt Public Health, and member of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. “Because we often don’t see the effects immediately, it’s important for us to keep studying the long-term consequences of health care reform.” 

Aparna Soni, Ph.D., of the American University in Washington, D.C., co-authored the paper. 

This research was supported by National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences grant  5KL2TR001856, National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Support grant P30CA047904, the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Dean’s Summer Research Program. 

To read this release online or share it, visit https://www.upmc.com/media/news/111220-ajpm-aca [when embargo lifts].

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Released: 20-Nov-2020 4:25 PM EST
Those darn property taxes! Insights from Texas tax protests
University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business

Everyone loves to complain that their taxes are too high. Yet few people actually take the time to formally protest them. A recent deep-dive into property tax appeals in Texas offers new insights on what motivates people to protest or accept their tax obligations.

Newswise: Biden administration vs. COVID-19: U-M experts can discuss
Released: 19-Nov-2020 4:55 PM EST
Biden administration vs. COVID-19: U-M experts can discuss
University of Michigan

University of Michigan epidemiologists are available to discuss the challenges President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will face in combating the coronavirus when he takes the reins in January.To schedule an interview, contact Nardy Baeza Bickel at nbbickel@umich.edu or text 616-550-4531.Emily Toth MartinEmily Toth Martin, associate professor of epidemiology at the U-M School of Public Health, is an infectious disease epidemiologist who has been using COVID-19 public health data to help inform mitigation and policy.

Newswise: NEW: Youth vote up significantly in 2020; young people of color pivotal
Released: 19-Nov-2020 3:40 PM EST
NEW: Youth vote up significantly in 2020; young people of color pivotal
Tufts University

Presidential election turnout among young people ages 18-29 reached 52-55%, significantly higher than the 45-48% turnout of 2016, according to a new youth turnout estimate released today from CIRCLE at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life.

Newswise: Making the Best Decision: Math Shows Diverse Thinkers Equal Better Results
Released: 16-Nov-2020 2:55 PM EST
Making the Best Decision: Math Shows Diverse Thinkers Equal Better Results
Florida State University

A Florida State University researcher published a new study today that tackles how groups make decisions and the dynamics that make for fast and accurate decision making. He found that networks that consisted of both impulsive and deliberate individuals made, on average, quicker and better decisions than a group with homogenous thinkers.

Released: 16-Nov-2020 2:05 PM EST
Amid New COVID-19 Surge, PPE Must Be Top Priority Says Critical Care Societies Collaborative
American Thoracic Society (ATS)

In response to the reports of COVID-19 surges around the country, the Critical Care Societies Collaborative, comprising the American Association of Critical‐Care Nurses, American College of Chest Physicians, the American Thoracic Society and the Society of Critical Care Medicine, released the following statement:


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