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Grant Details

Grant Number: 1R01CA271380-01 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Park, Elyse
Organization: Massachusetts General Hospital
Project Title: Assessing the Effect of Virtual Navigation Interventions to Improve Health Insurance Literacy and Decrease Financial Burden: a Ccss Randomized Trial
Fiscal Year: 2022


Childhood cancer survivors often have complex health needs that require medical surveillance, requiring them to navigate the complexities of the health care system. Despite the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of insurance, many childhood cancer survivors continue to experience underinsurance and barriers to care. Adequate health insurance literacy is a key skill for survivors to obtain and utilize health insurance and to prevent high out-of-pocket costs or unmet health care needs. Interventions are critically needed to support childhood cancer survivors in addressing issues of insurance, but to date no intervention has been developed to improve childhood survivors’ health insurance literacy. Guided by Andersen and Aday’s Behavioral Model of Health Services Use, we developed a patient navigation intervention and health insurance booklet, targeted for survivors. We conducted a pilot randomized trial comparing intervention, Health Insurance Navigation Tools (HINT-S), delivered synchronously via Zoom, to enhanced usual care (EUC; digital health insurance booklet only) among 82 survivors in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) cohort. HINT-S incorporates a strong psychoeducational component, with 4 45-minute sessions designed to improve survivors’ conceptual knowledge of health insurance and cost. Preliminary results support its feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy. In response to RFA-CA-20-027, we propose a Type 1 hybrid effectiveness-implementation trial to test HINT-S vs. EUC to promote health insurance literacy, as well as improving downstream financial hardship and health care. We will randomize 520 survivors from the CCSS cohort to: HINT-S, HINT-A (4 prerecorded, asynchronous navigator sessions, which has the potential to be cost-effective and scalable), and EUC. All study activities, including recruitment, data collection, and navigation, will be conducted virtually, via the CCSS mHealth platform and patient portal. We will investigate whether HINT-S improves health insurance literacy over EUC at 6 months (primary outcome) and explore the relative difference in effect size and cost of HINT-S compared to HINT-A. We will explore moderators (e.g., sociodemographics, insurance status, state Medicaid expansion status, cancer and health history, and baseline literacy) of the intervention effects. The association of health insurance literacy with longer-term outcomes, such as financial hardship (worry, unmet healthcare needs, and financial consequences of medical costs), decreases in out-of-pocket-costs, and improvements in healthcare utilization at 18 months will be investigated. Implementation evaluation will assess the intervention’s reach, engagement, acceptability, fidelity, and sustainability (including cost). This study is innovative for the 1) comparison of digital intervention delivery, 2) focus on health insurance literacy, and 3) access to a national sample of long-term childhood cancer survivors. Digitally-delivered interventions that address health insurance literacy can lead to national sustainable improvements in childhood survivors’ health care costs and care.


Sources of informal financial support among adolescent and young adult cancer survivors: a mixed methods analysis from the HIAYA CHAT study.
Authors: Waters A.R. , van Thiel Berghuijs K.M. , Kaddas H.K. , Vaca Lopez P.L. , Chevrier A. , Ray N. , Tsukamoto T. , Allen K. , Fair D.B. , Lewis M.A. , et al. .
Source: Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, 2023-02-11; 31(3), p. 159.
EPub date: 2023-02-11.
PMID: 36773110
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