Financial burden and impact of atopic dermatitis out-of-pocket healthcare expenses among black individuals in the United States

Arch Dermatol Res. 2022 Oct;314(8):739-747. doi: 10.1007/s00403-021-02282-3. Epub 2021 Sep 27.


Black race is associated with increased atopic dermatitis (AD) severity and healthcare resource utilization. However, the burden of out-of-pocket (OOP) expenses among black individuals with AD is not well understood. We sought to characterize the categories and impact of OOP healthcare expenses associated with AD management among black individuals. A 25-question voluntary online survey was administered to National Eczema Association members (N = 113,502). Inclusion criteria (US residents age ≥ 18 years; self-report of AD or primary caregivers of individuals with AD) was met by 77.3% (1118/1447) of respondents. Black individuals with AD were younger, had lower household income, Medicaid, urban residence, poor AD control and frequent skin infections (P ≤ 0.02). Blacks vs. non-blacks reported more OOP costs for prescription medications covered (74.2% vs. 63.6%, P = 0.04) and not covered (65.1% vs. 46.5%, P = 0.0004) by insurance, emergency room visits (22.1% vs. 11.8%, P = 0.005), and outpatient laboratory testing (33.3% vs. 21.8%, P = 0.01). Black race was associated with increased household financial impact from OOP expenses (P = 0.0009), and predictors of financial impact included minimally controlled AD (adjusted OR [95% CI] 13.88 [1.63-117.96], P = 0.02), systemic therapy (4.34 [1.63-11.54], 0.003), > $200 monthly OOP expenses (14.28 [3.42-59.60], P = 0.0003), and Medicaid (4.02 [1.15-14.07], P = 0.03). Blacks with Medicaid had higher odds of harmful financial impact (3.32 [1.77-6.24], P = 0.0002) than those of black race (1.81 [1.04-3.15], P = 0.04) or with Medicaid (1.39 [1.02-1.88], P = 0.04) alone. Black race is associated with increased OOP costs for AD and significant household financial impact. Targeted interventions are needed to address financial disparities in AD.

Keywords: Atopic dermatitis; Cost of care; Expense; Financial burden; Out-of-pocket.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Dermatitis, Atopic*
  • Financial Stress*
  • Health Expenditures
  • Humans
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology