Influence of Payer Source on Treatment and Outcomes in Colorectal Cancer Patients in a University Hospital in Thailand

  • Published : 2014.11.06


The study aimed to compare the 2 main types of insurance used by colorectal cancer (CRC) patients in a university hospital in Thailand: universal coverage (UC) and 'Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme' (CSMBS) in terms of hospital expenditure and survival outcomes. CRC cases in stages I-IV who were operated on and had completed their adjuvant therapy in Songklanagarind Hospital from 2004 through 2013 were retrospectively reviewed regarding their hospital expenditure, focusing on surgical and chemotherapy costs. Of 1,013 cases analyzed, 524 (51.7%) were in the UC group while 489 (48.3%) belonged to the CSMBS group. Cases with stage IV disease were significantly more frequent in the UC group. Average total treatment expenditure (TTE) was 143,780 Thai Baht (THB) (1 US$ =~ 30 THB). The TTE increased with tumor stage and the chemotherapy cost contributed the most to the TTE increment. TTE in the CSMBS group was significantly higher than in the UC group for stage II-III CRCs. The majority of cases in the UC group (65.5%) used deGramont or Mayo as their first line regimen, and the proportion of cases who started with a capecitabine-based regimen (XELOX or $Xeloda^{(R)}$) was significantly higher in the CSMBS group (61.0% compared to 24.5% in the UC group, p-value < 0.01). On survival analysis, overall survival (OS) and progress free survival in the CSMBS group were significantly better than in the UC group. The 5-year OS in the CSMBS and UC groups were 84.3% and 74.6%, respectively (p-value < 0.01). In conclusion, the study indicates that in Thailand, the type of insurance influences resource utilization, especially the choice of chemotherapy, in CRC cases. This disparity in treatment, in turn, results in a gap in treatment outcomes.


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