Health Care Expenditures Related to Atopic Dermatitis

The incidence of atopic dermatitis (AD) is increasing, and the burden of the disease is multidimensional. Researchers conducted a study to determine health care expenditures related to AD and found that the mean incremental annual health care expenditure is $1,751.50, mostly related to outpatient visits and inpatient expenditures. The results of the study were published as part of the American Academy of Dermatology Virtual Meeting Experience 2020.

Researchers used the medical expenditure panel survey from 2007 to 2015. A validated two-part generalized linear model was used to estimate adjusted incremental expenditure,

controlling for comorbidities, other atopic conditions, and sociodemographic characteristics. Expenditures were categorized as outpatient, inpatient, emergency, prescription, and home health care.

Patients with AD were more likely to be female (P=0.031), younger (P<0.001), white (P<0.001), living in the south (P=0.0031), Medicaid beneficiaries (P=0.0035), and diagnosed with conjunctivitis (P<0.001) compared with matched patients without AD.

The annual health care expenditure for AD was $2,692.40 (standard deviation [SD], $473.31). After controlling for other factors, expenditure for patients with AD was 1.56 times higher than patients without AD ($1,751.50 [SD, 50.60]; 95% confidence interval, 1.11-2.19; P=0.0102). By comparison, incremental expenditures of AD were greater than allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis but less than asthma.

Mean annual AD-related costs included:

  • $1,267.56 (SD, $200.01) for outpatient
  • $445.77 (SD, $267.29) for inpatient
  • $272.66 (SD, $110.74) for emergency room
  • $215.02 (SD, $46.17) for prescription
  • $226.82 (SD, $53.59) for home health care

Accounting for prevalence, AD is uniquely associated with more than $5 billion annually in population-level health care expenditure, the researchers noted. “As health care expenditures rise, it is vital to identify strategies to reduce expenditures due to AD,” the researchers concluded.

Tripathi R, Knusel KD, Simpson EL. Incremental Expenditures Associated with Atopic Dermatitis in the United States: A Nationally Representative Retrospective Cohort Study. Presented during the AAD Virtual Meeting Experience 2020, June 12-14, 2020.