Mobile Application to Identify Cancer Treatment-Related Financial Assistance: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial.
PURPOSE: Insured patients with cancer face high treatment-related, out-of-pocket (OOP) costs and often cannot access financial assistance. We conducted a randomized, controlled trial of Bridge, a patient-facing app designed to identify eligible financial resources for patients. We hypothesized that patients using Bridge would experience greater OOP cost reduction than controls. METHODS: We enrolled patients with cancer who had OOP expenses from January 2018 to March 2019. We randomly assigned patients 1:1 to intervention (Bridge) versus control (financial assistance educational websites). Primary and secondary outcomes were self-reported OOP costs and subjective financial distress 3 months postenrollment. In post hoc analyses, we analyzed application for and receipt of financial assistance at 3 months postenrollment. We used chi-square, Mann-Whitney tests, and logistic regression to compare study arms. RESULTS: We enrolled 200 patients. The median age was 57 years (IQR, 47.0-63.0). Most patients had private insurance (71%), and the median household income was $62,000 in US dollars (USD) (IQR, $36,000-$100,000 [USD]). Substantial missing data precluded assessment of primary and secondary outcomes. In post hoc analyses, patients in the Bridge arm were more likely than controls to both apply for and receive financial assistance. CONCLUSION: We were unable to test our primary outcome because of excessive missing follow-up survey data. In exploratory post hoc analyses, patients who received a financial assistance app were more likely to apply for and receive financial assistance. Ultimately, our study highlights challenges faced in identifying measurable outcomes and retaining participants in a randomized, controlled trial of a mobile app to alleviate financial toxicity.
Tarnasky, AM; Tran, GN; Nicolla, J; Friedman, FAP; Wolf, S; Troy, JD; Sung, AD; Shah, K; Oury, J; Thompson, JC; Gagosian, B; Pollak, KI; Manners, I; Zafar, SY
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