Publication date: Sep 06, 2019
The effect of health insurance on management and outcomes in melanoma is unclear. Using the National Cancer Database (NCDB), we evaluated the effect of insurance on (1) stage at diagnosis, (2) receipt of immunotherapy, and (3) overall survival (OS) among patients with melanoma. We included patients with stage I-IV melanoma diagnosed from 2011 to 2015. Patients were stratified by age (below 65 vs. 65 y or above) and insurance (commercial, Medicare, Medicaid and uninsured). We evaluated the association between insurance and (1) stage at diagnosis (stage I-III vs. IV) and (2) receipt of immunotherapy (stage IV) using multivariable logistic regression. The association of insurance status with OS in metastatic patients who received immunotherapy was assessed using Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards analyses. The study included 167,130 patients; 52% had commercial insurance, 43% had Medicare, 3% had Medicaid and 2% were uninsured. In patients below 65 years, those with Medicaid and the uninsured had a higher likelihood of presenting with metastatic melanoma and were less likely to receive immunotherapy compared with those with commercial insurance. Further among those who received immunotherapy, patients with Medicaid (hazard ratio: 1.51, P=0.001) and no insurance (hazard ratio: 1.37, P=0.046) had an inferior OS. In patients 65 years or above, whereas Medicare was associated with an increased likelihood of presenting with metastatic disease, there was no significant difference in receipt of immunotherapy or OS as compared with commercial insurance. In this large modern cohort, insurance was associated with stage at diagnosis, receipt of immunotherapy, and OS for patients below 65 years old with melanoma.
, Jain, Venigalla, S., Reddy, V.K., Lukens, J.N., Mitchell, T.C., and Shabason, J.E. Association of Insurance Status With Presentation, Treatment, and Survival in Melanoma in the Era of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors. 24059. 2019 J Immunother.
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