Association of Health-Care System and Survival in African American and Non-Hispanic White Patients With Bladder Cancer

African American patients with bladder cancer have inferior outcomes compared with non-Hispanic White (White) patients. This research compared outcomes by race for patients with bladder cancer receiving care from the traditional health system with those receiving care within the equal-access model of the Veterans’ Health Administration (VHA).In this study of contrasting health-care models, receiving medical care in an equal-access system was associated with reduced differences in stage at presentation and eliminated disparities in survival outcomes for African American patients with bladder cancer.

Why is This Important: This study reinforces the concept that if African Americans are treated in a system where all the opportunities for diagnosis and treatment are the same, health outcomes improve. This is not an indictment of all private and public health care systems, but so many Black Americans are treated in systems that are often understaffed and underfunded.

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