5 key notes on how insurance status impacts acute spinal fracture treatment


A new study published in Spine examines how insurance status can impact treatment for acute spinal fractures.

Researchers examined the National Trauma Data Bank admissions for 2008 to 2011, including patients 18 years old to 64 years old with cervical or thoracolumbar spine fractures. The researchers found:


1. There was higher surgical rates in patients with spinal cord injury with insurance as compared with patients with bad blunt trauma or shock.


2. Patients who were white were more likely to undergo surgery than black patients.


3. The patients with higher Glasgow Coma Scale score were less likely to undergo surgery for acute spinal fractures.


4. The patients who transferred from lower acuity hospitals and those receiving treatment at teaching hospitals were less likely to undergo surgery.


5. Patients with spinal cord injury had higher surgical rates for insured patients than those without insurance according to the multivariable subgroup analysis.


"Patients with traumatic spine fractures were more likely to receive surgery if they were insured, regardless of the presence of SCI," concluded the study authors.


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