The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 355–367 | Cite as

The effectiveness of a population-based skin cancer screening program: evidence from Germany

  • Micha Kaiser
  • Jörg Schiller
  • Christopher Schreckenberger
Original Paper


In this paper, we analyze how a nationwide population-based skin cancer screening program (SCS) implemented in Germany in 2008 has impacted the number of hospital discharges following malignant skin neoplasm diagnosis and the malignant melanoma mortality rate per 100,000 inhabitants. Our panel data, drawn from the Eurostat database, cover subregions in 22 European countries, measured at the lowest nomenclature of territorial units for statistics (NUTS) level for 2000–2013. Applying fixed effects methods, we find a significantly positive and robust effect of the German SCS on the number of patients diagnosed with malignant skin neoplasm. However, the program does not significantly influence the melanoma mortality rate. This finding conflicts with the decreased melanoma mortality rate found for the pilot SCS program in northern Germany. Our results indicate that Germany’s nationwide SCS program is effective in terms of a higher diagnosis rate for malignant skin neoplasms and thus may contribute to an improvement in the early detection of skin cancer.


Cancer prevention Fixed effect Melanoma Screening Skin cancer 

JEL Classification

C33 I13 I18 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that this work involves no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Health Care & Public ManagementUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany

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