Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) remains a significant burden of disease in the United States. Patch testing is the criterion standard for diagnosing ACD, but its use may be limited by reimbursement challenges.
This study aimed to assess the current rate of patch test utilization among dermatologists in academic, group, or private practice settings to understand different patch testing business models that address these reimbursement challenges.
All members of the American Contact Dermatitis Society received an online survey regarding their experiences with patch testing and reimbursement.
A “yes” response was received from 28% of survey participants to the question, “Are you or have you been less inclined to administer patch tests or see patients needing patch tests due to challenges with receiving compensation for patch testing?” The most commonly reported barriers include inadequate insurance reimbursement and lack of departmental support.
Compensation challenges to patch testing limit patient access to appropriate diagnosis and management of ACD. This can be addressed through a variety of innovative business models, including raising patch testing caps, negotiating relative value unit compensation, using a fixed salary model with directorship support from the hospital, and raising the percentages of collection reimbursement for physicians.