Little cost difference between seeing dermatologist, PCP for common skin issues
Accountable care organizations may wish to direct patients to dermatologists for common skin disorders, as there is little cost difference compared with seeing a primary care provider, and dermatologists have higher diagnostic accuracy and efficiency, according to research presented at the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting.
To determine the cost of seeing a dermatologist, compared with that of seeing a primary care physician, for psoriasis or rosacea, the researchers examined diagnosis-related costs for patients aged 30 to 64 years included in the Humana database.
The researchers pooled primary diagnosis codes for 30,217 patients with psoriasis and 37,561 patients with rosacea. They then analyzed total and average reimbursements for office visits, compared between primary care providers and dermatologists.
According to the researchers, the average physician reimbursement for psoriasis visits among women were $592 for those who saw a dermatologist, compared with $586 for those who went to a primary care provider. Among men, the average cost was $638 for a dermatologist visit, vs. $657 for a primary care provider visit. Among rosacea diagnoses, the average reimbursement was $157 for women who saw a dermatologist, compared with $161 for women who saw a primary care physician. For male patients with rosacea, the average reimbursement was $179 for a dermatologist visit, compared with $168 for a primary care provider visit. – by Jason Laday
Disclosure: Healio Family Medicine could not confirm the researchers’ financial disclosure information.
Pena S, et al. F079. Late-Breaking Research: Clinical Studies/Pediatric. Presented at: American Academy of Dermatology 74th Annual Meeting; March 4-8, 2016; Washington, D.C.