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Psoriasis Patients or Cosmetic Cash - Doctors Choose

Botox and other cosmetic procedures take priority over Psoriasis and other medical issues!

A story recently surfaced on the evening news exposing a disturbing health care issue on the rise in America. This story centered on dermatologists' and the discrepancy in the number of days medical patients must wait to be seen for treatment. The study compared health concerns covered by medical health insurance versus patients scheduling cosmetic treatments and procedures. These treatments are not covered by insurance and are therefore paid for upfront by the consumer.

Living with psoriasis is difficult in and of itself. And perhaps even more challenging then having psoriasis is the ongoing struggle for patients and their dermatologists to find an effective treatment method that provides relief to this agonizing skin condition. But what could even be more concerning? The fact that patients are going untreated or waiting excessively long between consultations because of an increase in cosmetic procedures is drawing an increased concern in the procedures of dermatologists.

The news segment reported that patients seeking an appointment for examination of potentially cancerous lesions have to wait substantially longer to be seen by their dermatologist than those patients requesting cosmetic enhancement procedures such as Botox injections for wrinkles.

The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology published a similar study in August of 2007 reported in twelve selected cities from around the United States, cosmetic patients were able to get in to see the dermatotagists with considerable less time to wait compared to patients with medical issues and valid health concerns.

On average there was an eight day wait for a cosmetic patient requesting Botox injections to smooth wrinkles, compared to the average wait of twenty days for a patient requesting an evaluation of a suspicious mole even if this mole shows signs of visible changes often associated with the signs of skin cancer.

In Boston, Massachusetts, the median wait for Botox injections was 13 days, versus 68 days for a mole examination. In Seattle, the wait for cosmetic procedures was seven and a half days, compared to 35 days for a changing mole.

Botox is typically around $400 to $1200 per treatment, and is performed on a cash business. Full payment must be collected when treatment is administered. Compare this to dermatologists having to wait several months to receive reimbursement from insurance companies, for mole examinations (or any other medically covered visit such as psoriasis) for which they receive an average of $50 to $75.

Although more people are scheduling medical appointments due an increased awareness of skin diseases such as melanoma and psoriasis, dermatologists find more benefit in offering the lucrative cosmetic procedures and treatments such as Botox because it provides immediate cash flow.

Cosmetic patients are given the "red carpet" treatment when they call their dermatologist. Considering the financial incentive of performing cosmetic treatments along with the doctor's ability to wipe their hands clean of insurance reimbursement hassles, it's no wonder.

For all those patients with psoriasis and other medical conditions relying on expert medical care of dermatologists to relieve and treat symptoms, unfortunately, the wait is still on. These patients will have to go to the end of the line, and let all of those seeking emergency wrinkle repair cut to the front of line. For now, at least.


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