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Trends in Medicare Usage by Dermatologists

JAMA Dermatology; ePub 2018 Dec 19; Ya, et al

Utilization of Medicare by dermatologists increased from 2012 to 2015 with no corresponding increase in the number of services per clinician or number of beneficiaries, according to a recent investigation. In addition, the role of drug services in dermatologist Medicare utilization appears to be increasing. Investigators conducted a retrospective analysis of publicly available Medicare utilization and payment data for all dermatologists, regardless of practice setting, who provided services to Medicare beneficiaries between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2015. They found:

  • The number of dermatologists utilizing Medicare increased from 10,623 in 2012 to 11,279 in 2015 (6.2% increase), with a corresponding increase in total submitted charges ($312,340 vs $346,432) but no change in the amount paid by Medicare ($137,742 vs $134,206), number of services per clinician (2,762 vs 2,780), or number of unique beneficiaries (541 vs 554).
  • There was also an increase in all drug service metrics from 2012 to 2015, including number of services per clinician (18 vs 27), number of unique beneficiaries (12 vs 15), dollar amount of submitted charges ($153 vs $466), and amount paid by Medicare ($35 vs $89).

Ya J, Ezaldein HH, Scott JF. Trends in Medicare utilization by dermatologists, 2012-2015. [Published online ahead of print December 19, 2018]. JAMA Dermatology. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.4212.