Insurance, Not Injuries, May Determine Who Goes To Trauma Centers

It's called patient dumping when hospitals transfer patients without insurance to public hospitals. But a new study from Stanford University has turned dumping on its head. It finds that hospitals are less likely to transfer critically injured patients to trauma centers if they have health insurance.

It’s called “patient dumping” — when hospitals transfer patients without insurance to public hospitals. But a new study from Stanford University has turned dumping on its head. It finds that hospitals are less likely to transfer critically injured patients to trauma centers if they have health insurance.

Researchers at Stanford University looked at more than 4,500 trauma cases at 636 hospitals around the country to see what happened to critically injured patients brought to emergency rooms that aren’t designated trauma centers. They found that non-trauma centers were much more likely to admit patients who had insurance, whether it was private insurance or Medicaid coverage, than to transfer them to more skilled facilities

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Source: Kaiser Health News