A financial assistance program (FAP) improves outcomes for indigent patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to a study recently published in Pathophysiology.
Phillip Gu, M.D., from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues examined whether an FAP to improve health care access affected outcomes and health care utilization among 204 indigent adult patients with IBD requiring biologics. Patients were divided by FAP status; those without FAP had Medicare, Medicaid, or commercial insurance. Steroid-free clinical remission at six and 12 months was the primary outcome, while surgery, hospitalization, and emergency department utilization were the secondary outcomes.
The researchers found that fewer FAP patients had complex Crohn disease (50.7 versus 70 percent) and FAP patients had fewer prior surgeries (19.6 versus 38.4 percent) compared with non-FAP patients. Remission rates, disease duration, and days between prescription and receipt of biologics were similar between the groups. After adjusting for baseline demographics and disease severity variables, the investigators found that FAP patients were less likely to undergo surgery (odds ratio, 0.28).
“There are gaps in care for patients with IBD,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Our project pointed out that providing biologic therapy for IBD patients through a financial assistance program would have superior outcomes compared to patients with delays in receiving treatment.”
One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
Phillip Gu et al, Improved Healthcare Access Reduces Requirements for Surgery in Indigent IBD Patients Using Biologic Therapy: A ‘Safety-Net’ Hospital Experience, Pathophysiology (2022). DOI: 10.3390/pathophysiology29030030
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