Improved Healthcare Access Reduces Requirements for Surgery in Indigent IBD Patients Using Biologic Therapy: A ‘Safety-Net’ Hospital Experience

Phillip Gu, Eric Clifford, Andrew Gilman, Christopher Chang, Elizabeth Moss, David I. Fudman, Phillip Kilgore, Urska Cvek, Marjan Trutschl, J. Steven Alexander, Ezra Burstein, Moheb Boktor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Low socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with greater morbidity and increased healthcare resource utilization (HRU) in IBD. We examined whether a financial assistance program (FAP) to improve healthcare access affected outcomes and HRU in a cohort of indigent IBD patients requiring biologics. IBD patients (>18 years) receiving care at a ‘safety-net’ hospital who initiated biologics as outpatients between 1 January 2010 and 1 January 2019 were included. Patients were divided by FAP status. Patients without FAP had Medicare, Medicaid, or commercial insurance. Primary outcomes were steroid-free clinical remission at 6 and 12 months. Secondary outcomes were surgery, hospitalization, and ED utilization. Multivariate logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Decision tree analysis (DTA) was also performed. We included 204 patients with 258 new biologic prescriptions. FAP patients had less complex Crohn’s disease (50.7% vs. 70%, p = 0.033) than non-FAP patients. FAP records indicated fewer prior surgeries (19.6% vs. 38.4% p = 0.003). There were no statistically significant differences in remission rates, disease duration, or days between prescription and receipt of biologics. In multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for baseline demographics and disease severity variables, FAP patients were less likely to undergo surgery (OR: 0.28, 95% CI [0.08–0.91], p = 0.034). DTA suggests that imaging utilization may shed light on surgical differences. We found FAP enrollment was associated with fewer surgeries in a cohort of indigent IBD patients requiring biologics. Further studies are needed to identify interventions to address healthcare disparities in IBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-393
Number of pages11
JournalPathophysiology
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Keywords

  • Crohn’s disease
  • healthcare disparities
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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