Modeling the Effect of Shared Care to Optimize Acne Referrals From Primary Care Clinicians to Dermatologists Journal Article


Authors: Liu, K. J.; Hartman, R. I.; Joyce, C; Mostaghimi, A
Article Title: Modeling the Effect of Shared Care to Optimize Acne Referrals From Primary Care Clinicians to Dermatologists
Abstract: IMPORTANCE: Access to dermatologists remains a nationwide challenge. Optimizing referrals to a dermatologist may reduce patient wait times. OBJECTIVE: To model the effect of algorithm-based acne treatment by primary care clinicians on referral patterns and costs. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Overall, 253 referrals from primary care clinicians to dermatologists for acne from January 2014 through March 2015 were reviewed at Brigham and Women#39;s Hospital. No-show rate, diagnostic concordance between primary care clinicians and dermatologists, treatment at the time of referral, and treatment by a dermatologist were ascertained, and we modeled 2 treatment algorithms-initiation of topical treatments by primary care clinicians (algorithm A) and initiation of topical treatments and oral antibiotics by primary care clinicians (algorithm B)-to identify the most effective referral patterns and costs. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was the elimination of unnecessary appointments with a dermatologist. Secondary outcomes included reduction in delay to treatment, health care cost savings, and decrease in no-show rate. RESULTS: Overall, 150 of 253 referred patients were seen and treated by a dermatologist; 127 patients (50.2%) were not on prescription acne treatment at the time of dermatology referral. Model A reduced initial referrals in 72 of 150 cases (48.0%), eliminated referrals in 60 of 150 cases (40%), and reduced average delay-to-treatment by 28.6 days. This resulted in cost savings of $20.28 per patient, reduction of wait time by 5 days per patient, and decreased the no-show rate by 13%. Model B reduced initial referrals in 130 of 150 cases (86.7%), eliminated referrals in 108 of 150 cases (72%), and reduced average delay-to-treatment by 27.9 days. This resulted in cost savings of $35.68 per patient, shortened wait-time by 9 days per patient, and decreased the no-show rate by 24%. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Algorithm-based treatment of acne by primary care clinicians may eliminate unnecessary appointments, reduce wait time for treatment, lower costs, and reduce patient no-shows.
Keywords: Adult; Female; Humans; Young Adult; Public Health Sciences; Male; Retrospective Studies; Health Care Costs; Algorithms; Adolescent; Time Factors; Public Health; Health Services Accessibility; Models, Theoretical; Appointments and Schedules; Acne Vulgaris/economics/therapy; Cost Savings/statistics numerical data; Dermatologic Agents/administration dosage; Dermatology/economics/organization administration; Primary Health Care/economics/organization administration; Referral and Consultation/organization administration; Unnecessary Procedures/statistics numerical data
Journal Title: JAMA dermatology
Volume: 152
Issue: 6
ISSN: 2168-6084; 2168-6068
Publisher: Unknown  
Journal Place: United States
Date Published: 2016
Start Page: 655
End Page: 660
Language: eng
DOI/URL:
Notes: LR: 20170620; JID: 101589530; 0 (Dermatologic Agents); ppublish
LUC Authors
  1. Cara Joyce
    113 Joyce