September 20, 2019
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Researchers recommend Medicare Advantage for nonmelanoma statistics in US

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Researchers estimate that in 2014 there were more than 3.4 million treated nonmelanoma skin cancers in the U.S. population aged 65 years and older using data from Medicare Advantage, a growing cohort of Medicare provided by private insurance companies.

This represents an incidence case rate of 75 nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) per 1,000 people and an incidence rate of 45 persons with NMSC per 1,000 people, according to researchers.

The most common procedure was destruction (37%) followed by Mohs micrographic surgery (33%) and excision (30%).

Using traditional Medicare numbers, researchers identified an estimated 2,148,220 NMSCs from 1,321,100 affected persons and an NMSC incidence rate of 78 NMSCs per 1,000 people. Destruction was the most popular procedure in 822,540 cases (38%), followed by excision in 636,300 (30%) and Mohs surgery in 683,260 (32%).

The non-Medicare population was estimated to have 485,943 NMSCs across 300,831 patients.

“This study provides the most up-to-date and sophisticated estimate of NMSC for the U.S. elderly population and demonstrated the need to include the growing Medicare Advantage population in future estimates since their NMSC rates differ from traditional Medicare,” Howard Rogers, MD, PhD, of Advanced Dermatology in Connecticut, and colleagues wrote. “It is unclear why this difference was observed but possibilities include socioeconomic or racial differences, selection bias related to choice or Medicare plan, variations in benefit design or physician behavior. This study was not designed to evaluate these factors, which will be the subject of future studies.” – by Abigail Sutton

 

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.