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HS Diagnosis Delays Affected by Insurance

Patients with Medicaid can experience a six year or longer delay in receiving a hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) diagnosis, which is nearly twice as long as those with private insurance. This finding was reported in a recent poster study presented at the 2020 American Academy of Dermatology Virtual Experience Meeting.

Using data from the Medical College of Wisconsin and Froedtert Health i2b2 electronic data warehouse, the researchers searched for patients with an HS diagnosis and 3 or more encounters for HS using ICD9 705.83 and ICD10 L73.2 codes. They randomly characterized 373 of 1190 patients with HS identified by retrospective chart review and excluded those without an encounter for HS treatment.
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Among the patients included in the study, 41% were uninsured, 25% had private insurance, 13% had Medicare and 21% had Medicaid. HS treatment by a dermatologist was reported in 64.5% of patients with private insurance, 60% of patients with Medicaid, 32.3% of those with Medicare, and 46% of those without insurance.

The researchers found that patients with private insurance had a delay in diagnosis of 3.86 years, whereas those with Medicaid had a delay in diagnosis of 6.77 years. Patients without insurance had a delay in diagnosis of 2.84 years while those with Medicare had a delay in diagnosis of 4.6 years.

“Our findings suggest that insurance class, a determinant of access to care, may impact effective management of HS,” the researchers concluded.


Ulschmid C, Serrano L, Roth G, Sokumbi O. A retrospective review of delay in diagnosis and dermatology visits characterized by insurance type in patients with hidradenitis suppurativa in a Midwestern population. Abstract presented at: 2020 American Academy of Dermatology Virtual Meeting Experience; June 12-14, 2020.



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