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Journal Article


Deppe S, Truax CB, Opalek JM, Santanello SA. J. Trauma 2009; 66(4): 1184-1188.


Grant Medical Center, Columbia, Ohio 43215, USA.


(Copyright © 2009, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)






BACKGROUND: Hospital accounting methods use diagnosis-related group (DRG) data to identify patients and derive financial analyses and reports. The National Trauma Data Bank and trauma programs identify patients with trauma by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Edition (ICD-9)-based definitions for inclusion criteria. These differing methods of identifying patients result in economic reports that vary significantly and fail to accurately identify the financial impact of trauma services.

METHODS: Routine financial data were collected for patients admitted to our Trauma Service from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006 using two methods of identifying the cases; by trauma DRGs and by trauma registry database inclusion criteria. The resulting data were compared and stratified to define the financial impact on hospital charges, reimbursement, costs, contribution to margin, downstream revenue, and estimated profit or loss. The results also defined the impact on supporting services, market share and total revenue from trauma admissions, return visits, discharged trauma alerts, and consultations.

RESULTS: A total of 3,070 patients were identified by the trauma registry as meeting ICD-9 inclusion criteria. Trauma-associated DRGs accounted for 871 of the 3,070 admissions. The DRG-driven data set demonstrated an estimated profit of $800,000 dollars; the ICD-9 data set revealed an estimated 4.8 million dollar profit, increased our market share, and showed substantial revenue generated for other hospital service lines.

CONCLUSIONS: Trauma DRGs fail to account for most trauma admissions. Financial data derived from DRG definitions significantly underestimate the trauma service line's financial contribution to hospital economics. Accurately identifying patients with trauma based on trauma database inclusion criteria better defines the business of trauma.

Language: en


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