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Open Access Research article

Treatment costs of psoriasis in a tertiary-level clinic

Anssi Mustonen13*, Mauri Leino1, Kalle Mattila1, Leena Koulu1 and Risto Tuominen2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Dermatology, Turku University Hospital and University of Turku, Turku, Finland

2 Department of Public Health, University of Turku and Primary Health Care Unit, Hospital District of Southwest Finland, Turku, Finland

3 University of Turku, Lemminkäisenkatu 1, 20014 Turku, Finland

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BMC Health Services Research 2014, 14:344  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-344

Published: 15 August 2014

Abstract

Background

The costs of psoriasis to a tertiary-level clinic vary considerably depending on the country of study and methods used. Hospitalisation and phototherapy have been significant cost components. This study was performed to estimate the distribution and relative magnitude of the costs of psoriasis to a tertiary-level clinic.

Methods

Based on 233 patients, outpatient and phototherapy visits and the days hospitalised were collected from the treatment provider’s records. The visit costs represented true costs, used to charge the final payers. Patients were analysed according to their treatment modalities.

Results

On average, hospitalised patients (3.4%) had 31-fold higher total costs than non-hospitalised patients (p < 0.0001). The costs of hospitalisations formed 45% of all the treatment costs to the entire study population. Phototherapy accumulated 19% of the overall treatment costs. Patients receiving biological drugs or both phototherapy and traditional systemic therapy had the highest costs of treatment.

Conclusions

The current study indicates that a small percentage of all psoriasis patients generate a large proportion of the overall costs to a tertiary-level hospital. Treatment modality has a significant effect on the costs to a tertiary-level hospital.

Keywords:
Psoriasis; Psoriatic arthritis; Cost; Phototherapy