HealthDay News — Hospital admissions and costs for firearm injuries show wide regional variation, according to a study published online May 2 in Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open.
Sarabeth A. Spitzer, M.D., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues used data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Inpatient Sample to estimate the volume of, and hospital costs for, fatal and nonfatal firearm injuries from 2005 to 2015 for each region of the United States.
The researchers found there were 317,479 firearm-related admissions during the study period: 16.66 percent in the Northeast, 21 percent in the Midwest, 42.2 percent in the South, and 20.2 percent in the West. Hospital costs in the Northeast were $1.98 billion (13.9 percent of total; 56 percent covered by government payers) versus $1.53 billion in the Midwest (19.7 percent of total; 40.4 percent covered by government payers), $3.2 billion in the South (41.4 percent of total; 34.3 percent covered by government payers), and $1.94 billion in the West (25 percent of total; 41.6 percent covered by government payers).
“The policy implications of this are readily apparent: Regions with the least stringent firearm policies incur greater financial costs related to firearm injury,” the authors write.