Revisiting racial disparities in access to surgical management of drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy post implementation of Affordable Care Act

Kanika Sharma, Piyush Kalakoti, Miriam Henry, Vikas Mishra, Rosario Maria Riel-Romero, Christina Notarianni, Anil Nanda, Hai Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives Prior to enactment of the Affordable Care Act(ACA), several reports demonstrated remarkable racial disparities in access to surgical care for epileptic patients. Implementation of ACA provided healthcare access to 7–16 million uninsured Americans. The current study investigates racial disparity post ACA era in (1) access to surgical management of drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (DRTLE); (2) short-term outcomes in the surgical cohort. Patient and methods Adult patients with DRTLE registered in the National Inpatient Sample (2012–2013) were identified. Association of race (African Americans and other minorities with respect to Caucasians) with access to surgical management of TLE, and short-term outcomes [discharge disposition, length of stay (LOS) and hospital charges] in the surgical cohort were investigated using multivariable regression techniques. Results Of the 4062 patients with DRTLE, 3.6%(n = 148) underwent lobectomy. Overall, the mean age of the cohort was 42.35 ± 16.33 years, and 54% were female. Regression models adjusted for patient demographics, clinical and hospital characteristics demonstrated no racial disparities in access to surgical care for DRTLE. Likewise, no racial disparity was noted in outcomes in the surgical cohort. Conclusion Our study reflects no racial disparity in access to surgical care in patients with DRTLE post 2010 amendment of the ACA. The seismic changes to the US healthcare system may plausibly have accounted for addressing the gap in racial disparity for epilepsy surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-89
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Volume158
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

Keywords

  • Affordable Care Act 2010
  • Intractable
  • Obamacare
  • Outcomes
  • Racial disparity
  • Surgical access
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy

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