Background: Severe skin disease uncommonly requires hospitalization. The number of patients hospitalized for skin disease annually in the United States has never been reported. Objective: We evaluated the number of patients admitted for skin disorders. Method: Using data from 2 national databases, the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project-3 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (HCUP-3 NIS) 1992-1994 and Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) 1990-1996 file, we evaluated the total discharges, total charges, and reimbursement of the dermatology-specific (272, 273, 283, and 284) and - related (263, 264,265, 266,271,277, 278, and 279) diagnosis-related groups (DRGs). Results: In 1994, the HCUP-3 NIS data showed that a total of 468,014 discharges were classified under Dermatology DRGs, whereas in 1996 MEDPAR data gave a figure of 183,310 discharges with a total Medicare reimbursement of $892 million. In both data sets, dermatology-specific DRGs show a decrease over time, although dermatology-related DRGs generally showed an opposite increasing pattern. The top 10 states reimbursed by Medicare in 1996 for the discharges grouped under the DRGs mentioned above were New York, California, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Conclusion: Many patients are admitted annually for skin disease. The minority are admitted by dermatologists.
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