Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Estimating the impact of insurance expansion on colorectal cancer and related costs in North Carolina: A population-level simulation analysis.

Hassmiller Lich K, O'Leary MC, Nambiar S, Townsley RM, Mayorga ME, Hicklin K, Frerichs L, Shafer PR, Davis MM, Wheeler SB. Estimating the impact of insurance expansion on colorectal cancer and related costs in North Carolina: A population-level simulation analysis. Preventive medicine. 2019 Dec 1; 129S:105847.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


Although screening is effective in reducing incidence, mortality, and costs of treating colorectal cancer (CRC), it remains underutilized, in part due to limited insurance access. We used microsimulation to estimate the health and financial effects of insurance expansion and reduction scenarios in North Carolina (NC). We simulated the full lifetime of a simulated population of 3,298,265 residents age-eligible for CRC screening (ages 50-75) during a 5-year period starting January 1, 2018, including polyp incidence and progression and CRC screening, diagnosis, treatment, and mortality. Insurance scenarios included: status quo, which in NC includes access to the Health Insurance Exchange (HIE) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA); no ACA; NC Medicaid expansion, and Medicare-for-all. The insurance expansion scenarios would increase percent up-to-date with screening by 0.3 and 7.1 percentage points for Medicaid expansion and Medicare-for-all, respectively, while insurance reduction would reduce percent up-to-date by 1.1 percentage points, compared to the status quo (51.7% up-to-date), at the end of the 5-year period. Throughout these individuals' lifetimes, this change in CRC screening/testing results in an estimated 498 CRC cases averted with Medicaid expansion and 6031 averted with Medicare-for-all, and an additional 1782 cases if health insurance gains associated with ACA are lost. Estimated cost savings - balancing increased CRC screening/testing costs against decreased cancer treatment costs - are approximately $30 M and $970 M for Medicaid expansion and Medicare-for-all scenarios, respectively, compared to status quo. Insurance expansion is likely to improve CRC screening both overall and in underserved populations while saving money, with the largest savings realized by Medicare.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.