Featured Research

Latest Research


Affordable Care Act and Cancer Stage at Diagnosis
in an Underserved Population


Yan Lu, MD, MPH; Bradford E Jackson, PhD, MPH; Aaron W Gehr, MPH; Deanna Cross, PhD;
Latha Neerukonda, MD; Bhavna Tanna, MD; Bassam Ghabach, MD; Rohit P Ojha, DrPH


  • Why was this study conducted?
    • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was intended to reduce the number of uninsured individuals, particularly among underserved populations (i.e. people with socioeconomic barriers to care), but some states such as Texas did not expand Medicaid coverage as part of ACA.
    • We wanted to understand the effect of ACA on cancer stage at diagnosis among 1) underserved cancer patients in a safety-net health system, 2) cancer patients in Tarrant County, 3) cancer patients in Texas overall.
  • What did this study find?
    • After ACA was implemented, we observed a small decrease in the proportion of uninsured cancer patients in a safety-net health system, Tarrant County, and Texas overall.
    • We did not observe earlier cancer stage at diagnosis in any of these populations (figure below).

Research Chart


  • What do the findings mean?
    • Studies in states where Medicaid coverage was expanded are reporting earlier cancer diagnosis.
    • Medicaid expansion might be one option to help earlier cancer detection in Texas, especially for underserved individuals.