Uninsured patients who undergo brain surgery are 2.62 times more likely to die than covered patients, according to a study published in the Archives of Surgery. Researchers studied more than 28,000 patients who underwent a craniotomy for a brain tumor, and divided patients into three groups: Medicaid patients, privately insured patients, and uninsured patients. After adjusting the data to account for patient characteristics and stratifying by hospital in patients with no comorbidity, uninsured patients had a higher risk of experiencing in-hospital death compared with privately insured patients. Medicaid patients fared slightly better, but they are still 2.03 times more likely to die than insured patients. The study’s authors acknowledged the fact that underinsured are more likely to present to the hospital with more advanced stages of the disease and underdiagnosed comorbid conditions as a reason for the disparity. “Uninsured patients are less likely to see a physician regularly and there is probably a tendency for medical conditions to be undiagnosed in this group. These data may be problematic because hospital records often depend on what patients know and say when asked about their medical history,” they wrote. Perhaps with more patients covered through the Affordable Care Act, the overall survival rate for patients with malignant brain tumors will improve. Malignant brain tumors account for 13,000 deaths annually and those diagnosed have a five-year survival rate of about 35%.