Cancer; Quality of Care; Health Care Disparities; Community Hospitals; Program Evaluation


Health Services Research | Oncology


This study examined the effects of the NCCCP pilot on breast or colon cancer quality of care for patients from underserved populations and those treated at disparities-focused hospitals (NCCCP sites having fewer oncology resources or in communities with greater proportions of underserved populations). Data on five quality of care measures were collected using the Commission on Cancer’s Rapid Quality Reporting System. Following NCCCP initiation, we observed improvements in all five quality of care measures. There were similar quality of care improvements for Black vs. White patients, privately insured vs. Medicaid or uninsured patients, and men vs. women. Patients treated at disparities-focused hospitals showed quality of care improvements similar or significantly greater than improvements observed among patients treated at hospitals with more oncology care resources or smaller proportions of underserved populations. These findings indicate that the quality improvement processes, sharing of best practices, and other programs instituted as part of the NCCCP pilot had similar or greater benefits for individuals from underserved populations or those treated at disparities-focused hospitals than for patients in the corresponding non-disparate groups. Our results suggest that improvements in quality of care associated with the NCCCP are applicable to diverse populations of individuals with cancer.