A recent study published in the Archives of Surgery as reported by the L.A. Times newspaper suggests that patients who visited U.S. trauma centers from 2002 to 2006 found the risk of death was 80% higher for those without any insurance. The study analyzed data from among 700,000 patients across several states to determine the findings.
If this is true then patients who lack health insurance seem to be much more likely to die of car accidents and other traumatic injuries than people who belong to a health plan even though emergency rooms are required to care for all patients regardless of their ability to pay. These findings clearly show that the odds of death after an accidental injury for an uninsured person were close to twice the rate of someone with private insurance.
Although insurance status is not supposed to be a factor for trauma patients, this study shows otherwise. In 1986, Congress enacted the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act which was suppose to guarantee that anyone brought to the emergency room will receive treatment regardless of ability to pay.
What has become abundantly clear is that these uninsured patients were much less likely to be screened for certain cancers and not as likely to be admitted to other specialty treatment facilities for follow up care and along with inadequate follow up procedures after the traumatic accident that they experienced. The cost of going uninsured seems to be much greater than the monthly premium may seem.
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