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The impact of public versus private insurance on trauma patients


Jentzsch, Thorsten; Neuhaus, Valentin; Seifert, Burkhardt; Osterhoff, Georg; Simmen, Hans-Peter; Werner, Clément M L; Moos, Rudolf (2016). The impact of public versus private insurance on trauma patients. Journal of Surgical Research, 200(1):236-241.

Abstract

BACKGROUND The socioeconomic status has been associated with disparities in the incidence and mortality of traumatic injuries. However, there is a lack of studies on the level of health insurance with regard to various epidemiologic data of traumatic injuries, which this study opted to clarify. MATERIALS AND METHODS All consecutive 6595 patients admitted to a level one trauma center in 2012 and 2013 were included in this retrospective cohort study. Patients were grouped according to their health insurance status (public versus private extended health care insurance) and compared with regard to several epidemiologic variables, that is, the type of injuries, inhospital outcome, and surgical procedures. RESULTS Public insurance coverage was significantly more common than private insurance (75% versus 25%). Public insurance was associated with younger age, male sex, transfers to another hospital or mental institution, head concussions, head fractures, and increased mortality. Contrarily, patients with private insurance were more often associated with longer hospital stay, discharge to a rehabilitation clinic, fractures of the proximal humerus, and shoulder dislocations. However, there were no significant differences for the remaining majority of studied variables. CONCLUSIONS In a trauma setting, the level of insurance does not seem to play a crucial role in most types of injuries and surgical procedures in a country with a high level of obligatory health care coverage. Nonetheless, it appears that publicly insured patients are more commonly younger, males, transferred to another hospital more often, more prone to head trauma, and subject to increased mortality, whereas privately insured patients show longer hospital stays, increased transfers to rehabilitation clinics, and more fractures of the proximal humerus.

Abstract

BACKGROUND The socioeconomic status has been associated with disparities in the incidence and mortality of traumatic injuries. However, there is a lack of studies on the level of health insurance with regard to various epidemiologic data of traumatic injuries, which this study opted to clarify. MATERIALS AND METHODS All consecutive 6595 patients admitted to a level one trauma center in 2012 and 2013 were included in this retrospective cohort study. Patients were grouped according to their health insurance status (public versus private extended health care insurance) and compared with regard to several epidemiologic variables, that is, the type of injuries, inhospital outcome, and surgical procedures. RESULTS Public insurance coverage was significantly more common than private insurance (75% versus 25%). Public insurance was associated with younger age, male sex, transfers to another hospital or mental institution, head concussions, head fractures, and increased mortality. Contrarily, patients with private insurance were more often associated with longer hospital stay, discharge to a rehabilitation clinic, fractures of the proximal humerus, and shoulder dislocations. However, there were no significant differences for the remaining majority of studied variables. CONCLUSIONS In a trauma setting, the level of insurance does not seem to play a crucial role in most types of injuries and surgical procedures in a country with a high level of obligatory health care coverage. Nonetheless, it appears that publicly insured patients are more commonly younger, males, transferred to another hospital more often, more prone to head trauma, and subject to increased mortality, whereas privately insured patients show longer hospital stays, increased transfers to rehabilitation clinics, and more fractures of the proximal humerus.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Trauma Surgery
04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:19 Aug 2015 12:44
Last Modified:13 Jan 2017 13:56
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-4804
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2015.06.055
PubMed ID:26248479

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