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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dermatology Online Journal

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Characteristics and comorbidities of Medicare beneficiaries receiving care from Mohs micrographic surgeons based on fellowship training and practice setting


The characteristics and medical conditions of patients being managed by Mohs micrographic surgeons (MMS) have not been extensively established. In this cross-sectional review of 2017 Medicare Public Use data, we compared patient demographics and medical comorbidities among dermatologists billing for MMS based on surgeon fellowship training and practice settings. Overall patient complexity, as measured through Medicare's Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) score, did not significantly differ by fellowship training status. However, among fellowship-trained surgeons, those in academic centers managed a higher proportion of dual Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries (9.4% versus 5.4%, P<0.0001) with higher mean HCC scores (1.33 versus 1.13, P<0.0001). Depression and chronic kidney disease were notably more common among academic beneficiaries. These findings help to establish the patient complexity distribution among dermatologic surgeons, which may have important implications for perioperative management and monitoring given the growing prevalence of skin cancer and other medical comorbidities.

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