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Journal Article

Citation

Max W, Stark B, Root S. J. Trauma 1998; 45(3): 550-556.

Affiliation

Institute for Health and Aging, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0646, USA. wmax@itsa.ucsf.edu

Copyright

(Copyright © 1998, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

9751549

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This study analyzed the effect of California's motorcycle helmet law on injury costs. METHODS: An economic evaluation was performed using state hospital discharge data, county-level cost data, and statewide crash reports to estimate the costs, charges, and lost productivity from motorcycle injuries. Total and per person costs and changes in these costs were estimated. RESULTS: Total medical care costs were $35 million less in 1993 than in 1991, a reduction of 35%. Costs decreased for all payer categories, and 73% of the reduced hospitalization costs were attributable to reduced costs for patients with head injuries. Initial hospital costs for patients with head injuries were $18,527 compared with $10,350 for patients without head injuries. CONCLUSION: During the first 2 years of implementation of California's helmet law, there were reduced costs for injuries and fatalities and large dollar savings to the state and other payers compared with the previous year.

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