Patients with similar liver cancer characteristics on the waitlist for a liver transplant had significantly worse outcomes with public insurance compared to Kaiser Permanente or other private insurance, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco.
“Public insurance should be recognized as a risk factor associated with waitlist dropout, and necessary steps should be implemented to mitigate the increased risk of dropout among these patients,” said senior author Neil Mehta, MD, UCSF Health gastroenterologist and associate professor of gastroenterology at UCSF. “Our findings have increasingly meaningful implications as growing numbers of patients listed for liver transplant have public insurance.”
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer worldwide and third leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The only curative treatment options are tumor resection, liver transplant or local ablation.