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Dermatology Online Journal

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Biopsy rates vary with patient profile across different physicians in an academic dermatology practice


Current healthcare trends promote data-driven “benchmarking” to decrease cost and increase quality. Dermatologists perform 79% of skin biopsies and biopsy rate is an easily measured benchmark. To reduce the risk of a misguided “one size fits all” benchmark for biopsies, it will help to document the factors driving divergent biopsy rates.

This letter compares biopsy rates and high-risk patient ratios for 1000 sequential patients from two academic dermatologists. Elevated biopsy rates (0.55 vs 0.42, p < 0.001) were associated with elevated ratios of high-risk patients (.52 versus .30, p< 0.001). Although limited by small sample size, this research takes a first step toward future efforts to improve accuracy of biopsy benchmarking.

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