For Immediate Release
September 23, 2015
New Ovarian Cancer National Alliance research finds state lawmakers have power to dramatically improve access to ovarian cancer care and outcomes for the 21,000 women diagnosed each year
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) released groundbreaking new data in its report “50 States of Teal: Ovarian Cancer Care Across America.” This research, collected after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, reveals that access to ovarian cancer care and health outcomes are still extremely variable across the United States. This means that today, a woman may face significant barriers to receiving ovarian cancer care based on where she resides.
“A woman’s address should not dictate the quality of health care she receives,” said Ovarian Cancer National Alliance Chief Executive Officer Calaneet Balas. “But in nearly half of states, research shows that women face significant barriers to care. Lawmakers must take action to get women the care they need and deserve.”
The report evaluated states using criteria such as access to health insurance, use of preventive health services, access to oral contraceptives, access to gynecologic oncologists and more. Twenty states received a score of less than five out of 10. This score indicates that women there likely experience significant barriers to care. With regard to results, North Dakota and Wyoming fared worst, with a score of only two out of 10. The 18 other states that scored fewer than five points out of 10 include: Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah.
Specific policy solutions for state lawmakers to increase access to ovarian cancer care and improve health outcomes — including Medicaid expansion, increased access to affordable oral contraceptives, and increased access to quality specialty care — are also explained in the report.
The cure rate for ovarian cancer has changed little over the last 40 years — despite new treatments and surgical techniques — as basic care in many states still lags far behind. And this is a problem that will continue to grow, as the incidence of ovarian cancer is expected to double by 2050.
“Even after implementation of the Affordable Care Act, states still play a vital role in ovarian cancer care and outcomes,” said Balas. “States can and should do more.”
The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) is a powerful voice for everyone touched by ovarian cancer, connecting survivors, women at risk, caregivers and health providers with the information and resources they need. OCNA ensures that ovarian cancer is a priority for lawmakers and agencies in Washington, D.C., and throughout the country. OCNA works with the community to raise their voices on behalf of every life affected by this disease.
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