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Financial Burden of Traumatic Injury Amongst the Privately Insured.
Fu SJ, Arnow K, Trickey A, Spain DA, Morris A, Knowlton L. Financial Burden of Traumatic Injury Amongst the Privately Insured. Annals of surgery. 2022 Mar 1; 275(3):424-432.
We sought to evaluate the overall financial burden associated with traumatic injury amongst patients with private insurance and assess the effect of high deductible plans on out-of-pocket costs (OOPCs).
SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA:
Traumatic injury can be a source of unexpected financial burden for households. However, the effect of increasing participation in higher cost-sharing private health insurance plans remains unknown.
We conducted a retrospective cohort observational study, using the Clinformatics Data Mart Database, a nationwide single-payer administrative claims database to identify US adults who required emergency department services or hospital admission for single traumatic injury from 2008 to 2018. A 2-part model using a logistic regression and a generalized linear model with gamma distribution and log link was used to evaluate 12-month OOPCs after traumatic injury. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate the likelihood of catastrophic health expenditure (CHE) after injury.
Of 426,945 included patients, 53% were male, 71% were white, and median age was 42?years. Patients faced monthly OOPC of $660 at the time of their injury. High deductible plan enrollment was associated with an increase of $1703 in 12-month OOPC after trauma, compared to those covered by traditional health plans. In addition to high deductible health plan enrollment, worsening injury severity and longer hospital stays were also associated with increased 12-month OOPC after trauma. Non-white minorities paid less 12-month OOPC after trauma compared to non-Hispanic white patients, but also used fewer services. Overall, the incidence of CHE was 5%; however high-deductible health plan enrollees faced a 13% chance of CHE.
Privately insured trauma patients face substantial OOPCs at the time of their injuries. High-deductible health plans are associated with increased financial vulnerability after trauma.