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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Cancer 1/2018

The effect of low insurance reimbursement on quality of care for non-small cell lung cancer in China: a comprehensive study covering diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes

BMC Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2018
Xi Li, Qi Zhou, Xinyu Wang, Shaofei Su, Meiqi Zhang, Hao Jiang, Jiaying Wang, Meina Liu
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12885-018-4608-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



The insurance reimbursement rate of medical cost affects the quality and quantity of health services provided in China. The nature of this relationship, however, has not been reliably described in the field of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The objective of the current study was to examine the impact of low reimbursement rates of medical costs on diagnosis, treatment and outcomes among patients with NSCLC.


We examined care of 2643 NSCLC patients and we divided the study cohort into a high reimbursement rate group and a low reimbursement rate group. The impact of reimbursement rates of medical costs on quality of care of NSCLC patients were examined using logistic regression and generalized linear models.


Compared with patients insured with high reimbursement rate, patients insured through lower reimbursement rate programs were less likely to benefit from early detection and treatment services. Delayed detection was more common in low reimbursement group and they were less likely to be recommended for adjuvant chemotherapy, or to receive adjuvant chemotherapy and postoperative radiation therapy and they had lower odds to receipt chemotherapy response assessment. However, low reimbursement rate group had lower rate of in-hospital mortality and metastases.


Low reimbursement rate mainly negatively influenced the diagnosis and treatment of NSCLC. Reducing the gap in reimbursement rate between the three health insurance schemes should be a focus of equalizing access to care and improving the level of medical compliance and finally improving quality of care of NSCLC.
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