Traumatic Injuries Cost Medicare More Than Heart Failure, Pneumonia, Stroke or Heart Attacks Interview with:

Dr. Mark R. Hemmila MD Associate Professor of Surgery Division of Acute Care Surgery University of Michigan

Dr. Hemmila

Dr. Mark R. Hemmila MD
Associate Professor of Surgery
Division of Acute Care Surgery
University of Michigan What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Traumatic injury has a tendency to be thought of as a disease that preferentially impacts younger people.  We wanted to explore the prevalence and impact of traumatic injury within the population of patients for whom Medicare is the third party payer. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Traumatic injury is the primary indication for acute hospitalization in 5.6% of fee-for-service Medicare patients.  This degree of prevalence is slightly smaller than congestive heart failure, but significantly greater than for pneumonia, stroke, or acute myocardial infarction.  In addition, we found that the annual expenditures for traumatic injury were substantially greater than those for congestive heart failure, pneumonia, stroke or acute myocardial infarction. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Post-acute care following discharge from the hospital in patients with traumatic injury accounts for 48% of the total episode spending.  This proportion was considerably higher than for the other diseases studied. Post-acute care expenditures may represent an area for further examination regarding appropriateness and optimization. 

Disclosures: I have the following disclosures.  I receive grant support, paid to the University of Michigan, from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service to fund conduct of a coordinating center for the Michigan Trauma Quality Improvement Program.   



Montgomery JR, Cain-Nielsen AH, Jenkins PC, Regenbogen SE, Hemmila MR. Prevalence and Payments for Traumatic Injury Compared With Common Acute Diseases by Episode of Care in Medicare Beneficiaries, 2008-2014. JAMA. 2019;321(21):2129–2131. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.1146



Jun 5, 2019 @ 8:48 pm




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