Motorcycle-related injuries and deaths have been on the rise since 1997, and urban teaching hospitals are bearing the brunt of caring for those injured, according to a new nationwide study.
Charges incurred at these hospitals accounted for nearly 70 percent of the $842 million in total hospital charges for motorcycle-related cases in 2001, say Jeffrey Coben, M.D., of Allegheny General Hospital, and colleagues. Their analysis appears in the December issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The high costs at these hospitals might be due in part to the fact that patients with motorcycle-related head injuries were more likely to be admitted to urban teaching hospitals, Coben says. "These patients had longer stays, with higher total charges. They were also more likely to be self-pay. These cases likely contribute a substantial economic burden to academic medical centers," he explains. About 16 percent of patients hospitalized for motorcycle-injuries were uninsured, Coben and colleagues found. Another 10 percent used public insurance like Medicaid during their hospitalizations.
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