Patients with traumatic spinal injuries have higher rate of insurance discontinuation

Published: February 20, 2015  |  Source: healio.com
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higher rate of insurance discontinuationResearchers found insurance discontinuation rates were significantly higher for patients with traumatic spinal injuries when compared with healthy patient with no injuries, according to a recently published study.

Using the MarketScan database, the researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study of privately insured spine trauma patients who underwent surgery from 2006 to 2010. The researchers also used Kaplan-Meier survival analysis to assess the time to insurance discontinuation, as well as Cox proportional hazards regression to determine hazard ratios for discontinuation of insurance among patients with spinal trauma compared with matched controls.

Results showed a median duration of existing insurance coverage of 20.2 months for patients with traumatic spinal cord injury, 25.6 months for patients with traumatic spine injury but without spinal cord injury and 48 months for the matched control cohort.

The researchers calculated hazard ratios for discontinuation of insurance of 2.02 (95% CI, 1.83 to 2.23) for trauma patients without spinal cord injury and 2.78 (95% CI, 2.31 to 3.35) for the trauma patients with spinal cord injury after controlling for age, sex, geographic region, year of enrollment and insurance plan type.

The researchers concluded that patients with disabling injuries are at an increased risk for loss of insurance coverage. – by Robert Linnehan

Disclosures: Kastenberg reports grants from AHRQ during the conduct of the study. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.