Thursday, June 19, 2014

Abusive Head Trauma Medical Costs

Pediatrics Editorial Board Member Joann Schulte, DO, MPH, shares her expert perspective on a new article from our July issue. To learn more about Dr. Schulte and her work in general pediatrics and preventive medicine, check out her bio on our Contributors page.

By: Joann Schulte, DO, MPH

Photo by COD Newsroom via Flickr
When infants and children are abused, the long-term consequences are serious. Shaken baby syndrome or abusive head trauma can shape children’s futures negatively, and two-thirds of such children are left with significant disability, often requiring more medical care. Those children also incur significant medical expenses according to research published early released from the July issue of Pediatrics.

Using a case-control methodology, Cora Peterson and her co-authors (doi: 10.1542/ peds.2014-0117) estimated that a child who suffered abusive head trauma incurred medical expenses totaling $47,952 in the four years after the injury. For children covered by commercial insurance, estimated expenses were $38,321. Estimated expenses were higher for Medicaid patients at $56,691. Those estimated expenses did not include non-medical costs related to special education or disability.

The authors studied children aged 0 to 4 years and used regression modeling to simulate the direct medical costs. The cases and controls (five controls for each abused child) were identified in the Truven Health MarketScan database, which reports paid insurance claims and patient encounters, for the period of 2003 through 2011. Their modeling of direct medical costs was based on payments made for medical care.

Their study of the economic costs during a four-year period after abusive head trauma is a sobering analysis of the devastating consequences of what child abuse can produce.

Related Reading: 

1 comment:

  1. Net medical expense could be frustrating whenever your are out of your income. These problems usually occur on an unexpected day or time. You can prevent these by watching your financing or by saving for these unexpected time!


Thank you for joining in the conversation. Please follow our commenting guidelines, which you can find on our "About First Read" page.