USE CASE: The Role of Health Insurance in Access to New Medical Technologies: A Case Study of BRCA Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer Patients

Click here to listen to the Change Agent Chat hosted by CIVHC’s CMO, Tamaan Osbourne-Roberts. 



The mission of the Health and Behavioral Sciences Department and the University of Colorado, Denver is to apply social science theory and innovative research methods to critically address emerging issues in health.

 Project Summary: A PhD student at UC Denver is using CO APCD data to investigate whether a patient’s socio-economic status or health insurance plan affects their access to potentially life-saving, but expensive, genetic testing.

Patients can use genetic testing to determine if they have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, which makes them more likely to have a recurrence of breast cancer. The proposed project will use combine CO APCD data and data from the Colorado Central Cancer Registry to answer this question:

What is the relationship between type of health insurance, socio-economic status, and access to a BRCA genetic test for breast cancer patients in Colorado? 

Benefit to Colorado: Results of this project may allow Colorado policymakers to understand how differences in health insurance coverage are related to socio-economic status, how these differences can lead to health disparities, and provide information to help them design interventions to advance the Triple Aim of lower costs, better care, and better care.