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Use of Advanced Practice Professionals on the Rise

JAMA Dermatology; ePub 2018 Jul 11; Zhang, et al

The number and scope of dermatologic procedures performed by advanced practice professional (APPs) appear to be increasing over time, according to a recent longitudinal study. Researchers used data from the Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File from 2012 through 2015, which encompass nearly all outpatient procedures paid by Medicare Part B in the US and include the type of clinician under which procedures were billed. They found:

  • The total number (and percentage) of all dermatologic procedures performed by APPs increased from 2.69 million of 30.7 million (8.8%) in 2012 to 4.54 million of 33.9 million (13.4%) in 2015.
  • The most common procedures performed by APPs in 2015 were destructions of benign neoplasms (3.6 million), biopsies (788,834), and destructions of malignant neoplasms (48,982).
  • The numbers of patch tests, removals of benign and malignant neoplasms, intermediate and complex repairs, flaps, and surgical pathologic specimen examinations by APPs also increased each year from 2012 through 2015.

Zhang M, Zippin J, Kaffenberger B. Trends and scope of dermatology procedures billed by advanced practice professionals from 2012 through 2015. [Published online ahead of print July 11, 2018]. JAMA Dermatology. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.1768.