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Oral Cancer Prevalence, Mortality, and Costs in Medicaid and Commercial Insurance Claims Data

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posted on 07.09.2022, 18:07 authored by Eric P Tranby, Lisa J Heaton, Scott TomarScott Tomar, Abigail L Kelly, Gulielma Leonard Fager, Mary Backley, Julie Frantsve-Hawley
BACKGROUND: This study compared prevalence, incidence, mortality rates, treatment costs, and risk factors for oral and oropharyngeal cancer (OC/OPC) between two large United States (U.S.) adult cohorts in 2012-2019. METHODS: Medicaid and commercial claims data came from the IBM Watson Health MarketScan Database. Logistic regression analyses estimated incidence and risk factors for OC/OPC. Mortality was calculated by merging deceased individuals' files with those of the existing cancer cohort. Summing costs of outpatient and inpatient services determined costs. RESULTS: Prevalence of OC/OPC in Medicaid enrollees decreased each year (129.8 cases per 100,000 enrollees in 2012 to 88.5 in 2019); commercial enrollees showed a lower, more stable prevalence (64.7 per 100,000 in 2012 and 2019). Incidence trended downward in both cohorts, with higher incidence in the Medicaid (51.4-37.6 cases per 100,000) than the commercial cohort (31.9-31.0 per 100,000). Mortality rates decreased for Medicaid enrollees during 2012-2014 but increased in the commercial cohort. OC/OPC treatment costs were higher for commercial enrollees by $8.6 million during 2016-2019. OC/OPC incidence was higher among adults who were older, male, white, used tobacco or alcohol, or had prior HIV/AIDS diagnosis, and lower among those who had seen a dentist the prior year. CONCLUSIONS: Medicaid enrollees experienced higher OC/OPC incidence, prevalence, and mortality compared with commercially insured adults. Having seen a dentist within the prior year was associated with a lower risk of OC/OPC diagnosis. IMPACT: Expanding Medicaid dental benefits may allow OC/OPC to be diagnosed at earlier stages through regular dental visits.



Tranby, E. P., Heaton, L. J., Tomar, S. L., Kelly, A. L., Fager, G. L., Backley, M.Frantsve-Hawley, J. (2022). Oral Cancer Prevalence, Mortality, and Costs in Medicaid and Commercial Insurance Claims Data. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 31 (9): 1849–1857.https://doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-22-0114


American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)