<--GAT-->

VA Provides Racially Equitable Lung Cancer Care

by U.S. Medicine

November 6, 2013

DURHAM, NC –  The VA healthcare system is providing racially equitable care in terms of time to initiation of treatment and referral to supportive care for lung cancer patients, according to a new analysis.1

Researchers from the Center of Excellence for Health Services Research in Primary Care, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in Durham, NC, noted that the “small racial difference in survival time of approximately two weeks is not clinically meaningful,” calling for future studies to “validate this possible trend prospectively, with longer periods of follow-up, in other veteran groups.”

Background in the article, which was published in the journal Cancer Management and Research, stated that non-small cell lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States, with patients in the late stages having five-year survival rates of only 2% to 15%. Time to receiving recommended care and survival are measures of care quality.

For the study, researchers used data from the External Peer Review Program, a nationwide VA quality-monitoring program, focusing on Caucasian or African American patients with pathologically confirmed late-stage non-small cell lung cancer in 2006 and 2007. Three quality measures were examined: (1) treatment initiation, (2) palliative care or hospice referral, and (3) death.

Study authors report that, after controlling for patient and disease characteristics, there were no racial differences in time to initiation of treatment (72 days for African-American vs. 65 days for Caucasian patients, hazard ratio 1.04, P = 0.80) or palliative care or hospice referral (129 days vs. 116 days, hazard ratio 1.10, P = 0.34).

The adjusted model, however, found longer survival for African-American patients than for Caucasian patients (133 days vs. 117 days, hazard ratio 0.31, P < 0.01).

  1. Zullig LL, Carpenter WR, Provenzale DT, Weinberger M, Reeve BB, Williams CD, Jackson GL. The association of race with timeliness of care and survival among Veterans Affairs health care system patients with late-stage non-small cell lung cancer. Cancer Manag Res. 2013 Jul 24;5:157-63. doi: 10.2147/CMAR.S46688. Print 2013. PubMed PMID: 23900515; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3726302.

Comments are closed here.


Related Articles

VA Overall Appointment Wait Times Shorter than the Private-Sector

Despite intense scrutiny of wait times for veterans seeking VA care over the last three years, a new study pointed out that delays in the private sector weren’t statistically less in 2014 and that, possibly because of the focus, wait times now are significantly shorter for the VA compared to private-sector healthcare facilities.

Senate Blocks Agent Orange Exposure Extension to Blue Water Veterans

Blue Water Navy veterans who claim to be impacted by toxic exposure while serving off the coast of Vietnam were forced to grapple with disappointment once again as the 115th Congress ended without passing legislation addressing their VA benefits.


U.S. Medicine Recommends


More From department of veterans affairs

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Senate Blocks Agent Orange Exposure Extension to Blue Water Veterans

Blue Water Navy veterans who claim to be impacted by toxic exposure while serving off the coast of Vietnam were forced to grapple with disappointment once again as the 115th Congress ended without passing legislation addressing their VA benefits.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA: Oversight Improving for Questionable Contracted Disability Exams

A recent audit by the Government Accountability Office has lawmakers and veterans service organizations frustrated with the Veterans Benefits Administration’s inability to track the quality of work done by outside contractors and concerned that veterans have not been receiving accurate disability ratings.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA ‘On Track’ for Appeals Reform; GAO Questions Timetable

VA is “on track” to implement a law designed to give veterans more options to have their claims appeals reviewed, as well as speed up the process, agency officials assured lawmakers last month.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Senate VA Committee Chair Vows to Pass 'Blue Water' Navy Benefits

Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) vowed that addressing benefits for Blue Water Navy Veterans “is no longer going to be a question,” but that “how we do it is the only question.”

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VHA Makes Progress in Improving Safety of Opioid Prescribing

VHA medical facilities should ensure that its providers are following three key opioid risk mitigation strategies, including conducting urine drug screening, a recent report recommended.

Subscribe to U.S. Medicine Print Magazine

U.S. Medicine is mailed free each month to physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and administrators working for Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service.

Subscribe Now

Receive Our Email Newsletter

Stay informed about federal medical news, clinical updates and reports on government topics for the federal healthcare professional.

Sign Up