The burden of skin disease in the United States
Since the publication of the last US national burden of skin disease report in 2006, there have been substantial changes in the practice of dermatology and the US health care system. These include the development of new treatment modalities, marked increases in the cost of medications, increasingly complex payer rules and regulations, and an aging of the US population. Recognizing the need for up-to-date data to inform researchers, policy makers, public stakeholders, and health care providers about the impact of skin disease on patients and US society, the American Academy of Dermatology produced a new national burden of skin disease report. Using 2013 claims data from private and governmental insurance providers, this report analyzed the prevalence, cost, and mortality attributable to 24 skin disease categories in the US population. In this first of 3 articles, the presented data demonstrate that nearly 85 million Americans were seen by a physician for at least 1 skin disease in 2013. This led to an estimated direct health care cost of $75 billion and an indirect lost opportunity cost of $11 billion. Further, mortality was noted in half of the 24 skin disease categories.