Association between Medicaid Expansion and Cutaneous Melanoma Diagnosis and Outcomes: Does Where You Live Make a Difference?

Alicia C. Greene, Olivia Ziegler, McKell Quattrone, Michael J. Stack, Benjamin Becker, Colette R. Pameijer, Chan Shen

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1 Scopus citations


Background: Early detection and standardized treatment are crucial for enhancing outcomes for patients with cutaneous melanoma, the commonly diagnosed skin cancer. However, access to quality health care services remains a critical barrier for many patients, particularly the uninsured. Whereas Medicaid expansion (ME) has had a positive impact on some cancers, its specific influence on cutaneous melanoma remains understudied. Methods: The National Cancer Database identified 87,512 patients 40–64 years of age with a diagnosis of non-metastatic cutaneous melanoma between 2004 and 2017. In this study, patient demographics, disease characteristics, and treatment variables were analyzed, and ME status was determined based on state policies. Standard univariate statistics were used to compare patients with a diagnosis of non-metastatic cutaneous melanoma between ME and non-ME states. The Kaplan–Meier method and log-rank tests were used to evaluate overall survival (OS) between ME and non-ME states. Multivariable Cox regression models were used to examine associations with OS. Results: Overall, 28.6 % (n = 25,031) of the overall cohort was in ME states. The patients in ME states were more likely to be insured, live in neighborhoods with higher median income quartiles, receive treatment at academic/research cancer centers, have lower stages of disease, and receive surgery than the patients in non-ME states. Kaplan–Meier analysis found enhanced 5-year OS for the patients in ME states across all stages. Cox regression showed improved survival in ME states for stage II (hazard ratio [HR], 0.84) and stage III (HR, 0.75) melanoma. Conclusions: This study underscores the positive association between ME and improved diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes for patients with non-metastatic cutaneous melanoma. These findings advocate for continued efforts to enhance health care accessibility for vulnerable populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4584-4593
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number7
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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