Trauma costs vary across U.S. regions but mortality does not

A study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery has found that trauma costs vary significantly across regions in the U.S. though there is no significant difference in mortality rates for these patients across regions. 

For the study, researchers examined cost data for trauma patients discharged between 2006 – 2008 with a diagnosis of blunt splenic injury, liver injury, tibia fracture, moderate traumatic brain injury, or pneumothorax/hemothorax.  

The study showed that the highest costs were in the west, averaging $18,929 per patient; the lowest costs were in the Northeast, averaging $14,022 per patient.  The authors note that although the study has limitations, further exploration of the cost variations across regions may identify potential areas for cost savings. 

(Sources: Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, http://journals.lww.com/jtrauma, August 2012; The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://www.advisory.com/, August 15, 2012; MedPage Today, http://www.medpagetoday.com, August 9, 2012)