Financial burden of emergency department visits for atopic dermatitis in the United States

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Abstract

Background:

Little is known about the usage and financial burden of emergency care visits for atopic dermatitis (AD) or eczema (AD-E) in the United States.

Objective:

To determine the prevalence, risk factors, and cost of emergency care for AD-E in the United States.

Methods:

Cross-sectional study of the 2006–2012 National Emergency Department Sample, including a 20% sample of emergency department (ED) visits throughout the United States (n = 198,102,435).

Results:

The mean annual incidence of ED visits with a primary diagnosis of AD-E was 3368.4–3553.0 cases/1 million persons. The prevalence of ED visits for AD-E increased significantly during 2006–2012 (survey logistic regression, P < .05). ED visits with a primary diagnosis of AD-E versus ED visits without were associated with younger patient age, Medicaid or no insurance, and lower household income quartile and more likely to occur during weekends and summer months. The geometric mean and total costs of ED visits for AD-E significantly increased from $369.07 and $127,275,080, respectively, in 2006 to $642.10 and $265,541,084, respectively, in 2012.

Limitations:

The National Emergency Department Sample did not include data on AD severity, recurrent ED visits, race/ethnicity, or treatments provided.

Conclusion:

There is a substantial and increasing financial burden of ED visits for AD-E in the United States. Interventions are needed to decrease ED visits for AD.

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