See What HealthDay Can Do For You
Contact Us

Skin Cancer Patients Face Long Wait for Appointment

Dermatology patients with potentially malignant skin lesions wait as long as routine patients

WEDNESDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- Dermatology patients with urgent problems, such as suspected skin cancer lesions, wait as long to see a physician as patients with ordinary conditions, regardless of whether they are Medicare or out-of-pocket patients, researchers report in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Jack S. Resneck, Jr., M.D., of the University of California San Francisco, and a colleague investigated waiting times for Medicare and out-of-pocket patients by making simulated calls to 851 dermatologists' offices posing as a patient concerned about a changing mole. They contacted urban offices that are representative of about 10 percent of the practices in the United States.

The researchers found that out-of-pocket patients faced a mean waiting time of 38.2 days for an appointment, versus 38.9 days for Medicare patients. Waiting periods differed by geographic locations, ranging from a mean of 19.7 days in Little Rock, Ark. to 73.4 days in Boston.

At practices using a physician extender (23.3 percent), the mean wait-time was 27.9 days to see the physician's assistant or nurse practitioner, about half the 45.8-day wait for physicians in the same practice, the researchers report.

"Patients with a changing pigmented lesion, a possible indicator of malignancy, face wait-times just as long as those previously published for patients with routine complaints," the authors write.

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Physician's Briefing

HealthDay

HealthDay is the world’s largest syndicator of health news and content, and providers of custom health/medical content.

Consumer Health News

A health news feed, reviewing the latest and most topical health stories.

Professional News

A news feed for Health Care Professionals (HCPs), reviewing latest medical research and approvals.