What does an injury really cost, not only in terms of medical spending but also in terms of work loss and decreased quality of life? A recent study by researchers from Brown University and the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation and published in the Journal of Injury Epidemiology provides an economic analysis of the “real cost” of all 31,038,072 hospital-treated injuries in the US in 2013. While most previous studies on injury cost focus mostly on the acute medical cost they don’t address the cost of the burden of injury.
The study found that one American out of 10 visited the hospital for a non-fatal injury during the year under study. Medical spending including hospital and home care, emergency transportation, medicines and physical therapy for all of them came to a total of $168 billion. Future lost work from permanent disability came to a total of $223 billion and quality of life loss came to a total of $1,46 trillion.
The study also provide an in-depth analysis of the cost of injury by age, household income, payer, location, injury mechanism, intent and severity.