Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Trauma Especially Deadly for Uninsured
by Anne Harding
posted by Jameel Murray
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - As the U.S. continues to watch Congress thrash out a plan to try to cover those without health insurance, a new study shows that people admitted to the hospital for trauma are almost twice as likely to die from their injuries if they are uninsured.
A co-author of the study said she and her colleagues weren't surprised at the disparity they found, but they were surprised by how large it turned out to be. "Our hope is that people recognize that the results from this study are to be taken seriously," Dr. Heather Rosen of Harvard Medical School in Boston told Reuters Health via E-mail. "Being uninsured is a major detriment to one's health, which has been shown in multiple studies addressing hospital admission, treatment, screening, outcomes, and aftercare."Adults with no health insurance are at 25 percent greater risk of dying from any cause in a given time period than are their insured peers, Rosen and her colleagues note in their report in the Archives of Surgery. Even though the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act-also known as the "anti-dumping law"-mandates that no hospital or ambulance service receiving federal funds turn away patients based on their ability to pay, Rosen and her team still suspected that mortality would still be higher after traumatic injury for uninsured patients.
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