Objective: To quantify individual and national estimates of direct medical costs of psoriasis and similar disorders using national survey data.
Methods: This was a retrospective study using 1996-2006 data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Individuals' self-reported current health conditions were mapped to International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) diagnostic codes, whereby individuals with code 696 were categorized as having psoriasis. Healthcare services, for which healthcare costs were collected, included prescriptions and inpatient, outpatient, emergency room, office, and home health services. Out-of-pocket (OOP) costs were the portion of individuals' total payments for healthcare services.
Results: There were 873 individuals with psoriasis (mean age = 51 years; 52% female) and 160 617 individuals without psoriasis (mean age = 48 years; 58% female). Annual per capita healthcare and OOP costs for individuals with psoriasis exceeded those for individuals without psoriasis ($4547 vs $3793, p < 0.001; $1255 vs $913, p < 0.001, respectively). United States national annual estimates of healthcare, OOP, and total direct medical expenses for psoriasis were $3.67 billion, $1.49 billion, and $5.17 billion, respectively.
Conclusions: Direct medical costs associated with psoriasis are substantial to healthcare payers and patients. The extent to which appropriate and early diagnosis and treatment reduce total healthcare costs for individuals with psoriasis should be examined.