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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UNC Study: Breast Cancer Patients Enrolled in Medical Homes May Have Improved Access to Health Care

A new UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health study suggests that women with breast cancer who are enrolled in Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC), a patient-centered medical home (PCMH)-like program, may have improved access to primary and specialty care.


[Photo: Drs. Stephanie Wheeler (left) and Raquel Kelly Kohler]

A PCMH is a health care model that seeks to improve effectiveness and efficiency of treatment by linking each enrolled patient to a personal physician who leads a care team. That team provides whole-person, comprehensive care and integrates care across facilities.

As PCMHs increasingly are being implemented, a research team decided to study their effect specific to female breast cancer patients who were enrolled in Medicaid’s CCNC program.

Dr. Racquel Kelly Kohler, a 2015 alumna of the Gillings School’s Department of Health Policy and Management, is lead author. Her former adviser, Dr. Stephanie Wheeler, assistant professor of health policy and management, is senior author and principal investigator for the study, which was funded by a University Cancer Research Fund Health-e-NC Award. Dr. Kristen Hassmiller Lich, research assistant professor, and Dr. Marisa Domino, professor, both in health policy and management at the Gillings School, also were co-authors.

The full article on the findings, titled, “Association between medical home enrollment and health care utilization and costs among breast cancer patients in a state Medicaid program,” was published online Aug. 19 by the journal Cancer.

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