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A cross-sectional analysis of trends in dermatology practice size in the United States from 2012 to 2020

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Physicians are trending towards practice consolidation nationally; however, changes in dermatology practice size remain to be assessed. The objective of this study was to analyze trends in dermatology practice size from 2012 to 2020 using a large-scale Medicare physician database. We performed a retrospective cross-sectional analysis using 2012 and 2020 data obtained from the Physician Compare Database. Responses from dermatologists were analyzed for trends in practice size, with a sub-analysis to examine differences among different regions, gender, and years of experience. The proportion of dermatologists in solo practice decreased from 26.1% in 2012 to 15.6% in 2020 (p < 0.001). Dermatologists were 40% less likely to be practicing in solo practice and 36% more likely to be in a practice with 10 or more members in 2020 (p < 0.001). These findings were consistent among all regions and genders examined. Additionally, in 2020, dermatologists with 30 or more years in practice were 7.5 times more likely to be in solo practice compared to dermatologists with 0–9 years in practice (p < 0.001). There is a trend of dermatologists working for larger practices, which is consistent with a larger nationwide trend of expanding physician practices. This shift in practice settings should be closely monitored to analyze the effect on healthcare efficiency, cost, and delivery.

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Correspondence to Shawn G. Kwatra.

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Parthasarathy, V., Pollock, J.R., McNeely, G.L. et al. A cross-sectional analysis of trends in dermatology practice size in the United States from 2012 to 2020. Arch Dermatol Res 315, 223–229 (2023).

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