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The Economic Impact of Acute Firearm Injuries at a Trauma Center in New Orleans

Published:November 03, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2022.09.007

      Introduction

      The objective of this study was to examine the payer mix and the economic impact of acute firearm injuries at a Level I Trauma Center in New Orleans.

      Methods

      Acute firearm injury economic data were obtained from the trauma registry database of the University Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana for 2016 through 2019. Patients were identified by the ICD-10-CM external causes of morbidity codes found in their electronic medical records. All patients with codes for initial encounters for gunshot wounds were included. Abstracted data included total charges and payments. Using the hospital cost-to-charge ratio, the estimated costs and losses were tabulated. Data analysis for this study occurred from 2020 to 2021.

      Results

      A total of 2,094 patients with acute firearm injuries were identified over the 4-year period. These patients incurred charges of $122,440.642, whereas $17,293,655 was collected as payment. The estimated cost associated with the encounters was $37,602,667, resulting in a net loss of $20,309,012 from 2016 to 2019 for the hospital.

      Conclusions

      Firearm injuries continue to plague the U.S. as a serious public health problem, causing preventable death, illness, and disability. They also continue to result in a major economic burden.
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